Skip to main content

Full text of "Progress in language: with special reference to English"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at http : //books . google . com/| 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 


'^ 77' 


Digitized by CjOOQ IC 


Digitized by CjOOQ IC 


** -^ . ♦ ' ^. 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 




Vltb special references to 


Otto Jbspersen 

8. Sonnenscheln & Co. 

Itov York 
Mscmlllftn (• Co. 



■Digitized -by Google 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

^ CAiKUIH I iT l n\ J \ jii \Uini uui ' 





Tmmum of Huwud Colhy 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 

0^ y?. vV 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 


This volume is to a certain extent an English 
translation of my Studier aver Engelske Kasus, 
med en Indledning: Fremskridt i Sproget^ which 
was submitted to the University of Copenhagen 
in February, 1891, as a dissertation for the 
Ph. D. degree, and appeared in print in April 
of that year. In preparing this English edition 
I have, however, altered my book so materially . 
as to make it in many respects an entirely new 
work.^ In the first place, what was originally 
only an introductory essay has been enlarged 
and made the principal part of the book, as' 
. \ already indicated by the altered title. Conse- 
quently, I could only retain those chapters of 
/' the special investigation on the history of 
^ English cases which had some bearing on the 
central idea of " Progress in Language,** viz., 
. chs. vi. and viL (formerly L and ii., on ''the 

^ The small numbers in parentheses refer to the paragraphs ' . i 

of the Danish book ; they will enable the reader to judge of 
' 1 the changes made in revising the work for this edition. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


English Case-Systems" and on ** Case-Shift- 
ings in the Pronouns "), while the last chapter, 
dealing with the history of voiced and voiceless 
consonants, was of too special a nature to be 
inserted in this volume. I shall probably find 
an opportunity of reprinting part of this inves- 
tigation in the introduction to the edition of 
Hart's Orthographie, which I am preparing for 
the Early English Text Society ; and I may 
here provisionally refer the readers to Dr. 
Sweet's New English Grammar^ \% 731, 86 1, 
862, 863 (cf. also §§ 810, 813, 997, 999, 1 001), 
where I am glad to say that the eminent author 
has accepted even those of my results which 
run counter to his own previous views.* By 
leaving out this chapter I have found place for 
the last two chapters of the present volume, of 
which one (viii. *• The English Group Genitive ") 
is entirely new; while the other, on the •* Origin 
of Language,^ was read in a somewhat shorter 
form before the Philological Congress in Copen- 
hagen, on the 2 1 St of July, 1892, and printed in 
the Danish periodical Tilskueren^ in October of 
the same year. 

' SS 1076-87 of the tame Grammar will be found to cover 
nearly the eame ground as my ch. vii. (iL in the Danish editionV 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Secondly, I have left out whatever seemed 
to me little likely to present any interest to 
English readers, especially the numerous 
instances of Danish developments parallel to 
those mentioned in chapter vii. ; in the new 
chapter viii. I have refrained from giving such 
parallel cases, but I hope some day to find an 
opportunity of publishing my Danish collections 

Thirdly, I have taken due notice of those 

reviews of my Danish book in which reasons 

were given for dissenting from my views; I 

f must especially thank Professors Herman 

I MoUer and Arwid Johannson for opening my 

eyes to some weak points in my arguments, 

even if I have not been able to make their 

opinions mine ; t>n the contrary, a consideration 

of their objections has only strengthened my 

belief in the progressive tendency of languages 

j|at large. In the linguistic literature which has 

'appeared since my Studier^ I have found little 

I to learn with regard to my own subject ; if G. 

von der Gabelentz's Die Sprachwissenschajt 

(Leipzig, 1 891) had appeared before instead of 

after my Studier^ it would probably have in- 

ifluenced my exposition, as I should have been 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


able from that admirable work to draw many 
arguments in favour of my hypothesis ; but as 
it is, I have thought it the wisest plan to leave 
the main structure of my work as it was, and 
only once for all refer the reader to Gabelentz's 
great work, which no one can read without great 
profit My attention was not drawn to Misteli's 
Charakteristik der hauptsdchlichsUn Typen des 
SpracMaues (Berlin, 1893) till nearly the whole 
of my book was ready for print in Its English 
shape ; the reader will there find good, if some- 
what abstruse and rather too ''philosophical" 
summaries of the distinguishing features of 
many languages. 

Such of my readers as are not specially 
interested in the history of the English 
language will perhaps do well to read of 
chapters vL-viii. only those sections which deal 
with problems of a more general character (S§ 
138-150, 209-215, 216-218, and 240-247); I; 
myself look upon these three chapters as 
specimens of the manner in which I hope, by- 
and-by, to treat the most important points in 
the development of the English language ; a 
few more chapters of the same description are 
nearly ready, dealing chiefly with the relations 

y^yOtiu^ ' 



between adjectives and nouns (or first parts 
of compounds) and those between nouns and 
verbs (cf. § 65). 

As the term " Old English " is still sometimes 
used in different senses by different authors, it 
is not superfluous to remark that throughout 
this book it means the English language till 
about 1 1 50, called by many scholars "Anglo- 
Saxon ". In the very few places where I have 
used a phonetic transcription, the sign * indi- 
cates that the preceding vowel is long. 

I shall conclude this Preface by mentioning 

the difficulty I have often felt in expressing my 

thoughts adequately in a language which is not 

my own ; if my English is not too awkward 

and clumsy, this is to a great extent due to my 

friend G. C. Moore Smith, M.A., of St John's 

College, Cambridge, who has been kind enough ^ 

to read my manuscript very carefully and to 

emend my style in not a few points; I seize 

this opportunity of thanking him most heartily 

for his extremely valuable assistance. I must 

also thank Cand. E. Lennholm, of this city, 

who translated most of chapter vi. for me from 

the Danish original. 

Otto Jespersen. 

Copenhagen, yw^i', 1894. |l. 

Digitized by VjOO^ IC 



Alford, Queen*s Engl. » Tlu Quecn*s English^ 8th edit, London, 

A tier. R, or A. R. m The Ancnn RiwU^ edited by Morton 
(Camden Society, 1853); cL also Kttlbing*e collation in 
Jahrbiiekir fur Romanische und Engliukt LiUratur, 

vol. XV. 

Bale, Threr L. 9 A Com€dy conurning Thru Lawes (1538), 

edited by Schroer in A nglia^ vol. v. 
B^Ur. - BeiirSge xur GeschichU dtr Deutschen Sprachc und 

LiUratur (Halle). 
Blmnch. or Bianchard, m Caxton*s Blanchardyn^ ed. by Kellner 

(Early Engl. T. Soc). 
Carlyle, Htr, « Heroes and Hero-Worship ; Sart. or S. R. 3 

Sartor Resarius (London, Chapman & Hall). 
Ch. or Chauc. » Chaucer ; Morr. or M. a the Aldine edition, 

by R. Morrie ; the Canterbury Tales (C. T. or Cant.) are 

generally quoted according to Purnivaire groups (A, B, C, 

etc.) ; Skeat*s editions in the Clarendon Press Series have 

generally been used ; M.P.m Minor Poems^ edit by Skeat, 

x888 ; Hous 0/ F. •> The Hous of Fame^ in the same edition ; 

L. G. W. m The Legend 0/ Good Women, edit, by Skeat, 1889. 
Chron. a The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (edit by Plummer, 1889 and 

Cura P. « King Alfred's Version of Gregory's Pastoral Care^ 

edit, by H. Sweet, 1871. 
Dickens, M. Ch. m Martin ChuxxlewU (the Charles Dickens 

edition. Chapman & Hall) ; Christm. Boohs ■ Chrisimas 
. Boohs (Macmillan). 

y { 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Einenkel, Stni/x. m Strei/xilgi durch dU mUUlMgtischc Syntax 

(Munster, 1887). 
G. Eliot, Mill - The Mill on the Floss (T.) ; Life ■ Life 0/ G. B^ 

by W. Cross (1\). 
Ellis, E. B. P. s On Early English Pronunciation^ i.-v., 1869-89. 
EngL St, m Englische Studien^ herausg v. E. Kolbing. 
Fielding (Field.), T.J, ■> Tomjones, i.-iv. (London, 1782). 
Greene, Friar B. « Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay^ edit by 

A. W. Ward (1887X 
Lay. -• Layamon*s Brut^ edit by Madden. 
Malory (Mai.) « Le MorU Darthur, edit by O. Sommer (1889). 
Marlowe (Marl.), Jew « Jew of Malta; Tamb. m TamburlainSf 

edit by A. Wagner (Heilbronn, 1889 and X885X 
M. E. s Middle English (ab. 1x50-1500). 
Meredith, Trag. Com. » The Tragic Comedians (T.) ; Eg. m The 

Egoist (i vol.. Chapman & Hall). 
Milton, P, L. » Paradise Lost; S, A, m Samson Agonistes. 
Murray, Dial, « The Dialect of the Southern Countia of Scotland 


N. B. D. m A New English Dictionary^ by J. A. H. Murray and 
H. Bradley. 

O. E. s Old English (before 1x50). 

Oros. s King Alfred's Orosius ; L. sx the Lauderdale MS., edit 
by H. Sweet (X883); C. » the Cotton MS., edit by Bos- 
worth (1859). 

Orig, Engl, m Very Original English^ by H. Barker (Lond., 1889). 

Roister m (Udall, ?) Roister Doister^ Arber*s reprint 

Kuskin, SeL ■> Selections from the Writings of John Rushin^ L*iL 
(G. Allen, X893). 

Sh. or Shak. ■> Shakespeare, quoted in the spelling of the first 
folio (x6a3) t the acts, scenes, and lines, numbered as in 
the Globe edition ; for Romeo and Juliet (Rom, or Ro,)^ 1 h. 
Mommsen's edition has been used, in which the lines of 
the second quarto are numbered continuously ; the abbre- 
viations of the titles of the plays will be easily understood ; 
AlTst ASt Ant.^ Cor.^ Cymb.9 L. L. L. m Love's Labour^s 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC" 


Lost^ etc^ Mcb. » Macbeth (the numbering of the lines 
according to A. Wagner*e edition, Halle* 1890); i H. IV. 
s First Part of King Henry the Fourth. 

Shelley, Poit. W.^ Macmillan'e one*volume edition. 

Sheridan, Dr. W. » Dramatic Worhs (T.). 

spec » specimens 0/ Early English^ by (Morris and) Skeat, i.-iii. 

Spectator^ H. Morley*s edition (Routledge). 

Storm, £. PhiL m Englische Philologie (Heilbronn, z88x). 

Sweet* H. E. S. « History of English Sounds (1888) ; N. E. O. • 
New English Grammar (1892). 

Tennyson, Poetical Worhs^ Macmillan*s one-volume edit, supple- 
mented by Tauchnitx ed. 

The. or Thack. « Thackeray, V. F. ■ Vanity Fair (in the 
Minerva Library); P. or Pend. m Pendennis (T.); Esmond 

Thinhs awfUy^ Sketches in Cockney (Field & Tuer, 1890). 
The other abbreviations require no explanation ; the works 

of W. Black, Robert Browning, Byron, Conan Doyle, Miss 

Muloch, R. L. Stevenson, Swift, TroUope (TrolL) and Mrs. 

Humphrey Ward are quoted from the Tauchnits edition (T.), 

but in all other cases I have used editions printed in England. 

Digitized by LjOOQII ' I 






L (I) No language is better suited than English 
to the purposes of the student who wishes, by means 
of historical investigation, to form an independent 
opinion on the life and development of language in 
general. In English we have an almost uninterrupted 
series of written and printed works, extending over 
a period of more than a thousand years ; and, if we 
are not contented with the results to be obtained 
from these sources, comparative philology comes in, 
drawing its conclusions from all the cognate tongues, 
and showing us, with no little d^ree of certainty, the 
nature of the language spoken by the old Germans 
at the time when the differentiation of the several 
tribes had as yet scarcely begun. The scientific in- i ^^ 

vestigations of our century go still further back : they 
have brought together Greek and Latin, German, 
Slavonic, Lithuanian, Celtic, Indian and Persian, as 
j one indissoluble unity ; through a long succession of 
[ parallelisms they have pointed out what is common 
^^ to all these languages, and have made it possible j | 

Digitized by Google |j|/ 



to some extent to reconstruct the unwritten lan- 
guage used in intercourse by the ancestral people 
several centuries before the era of any languages 
historically accessible to us. If we do not 
know where the original Arian (or, as it is often 
termed, Indo-European or Indo-Germanic) people 
lived, we know much about the structure of their 

2* (i) During the course of the ages the language 
of the Arians has changed in a multiplicity of ways in 
the mouths of different nations ; but nowhere has the 
original type been more radically modified than in 
England. The amount and thoroughness of these 
modifications will perhaps be perceived most clearly if 
we take some recognised definition of the most essential 
features characterising Arian speech, in opposition 
to the motley crowd of other tongues. We shall 
find that scarcely one of those features is character- 
istic of present-day English. Friederich MOller 
* thus describes the distinguishing traits of the languages 
of the Arian type : ^ " In the Indo-Germanic languages 
root, stem and word are rigorously discriminated *'. 
In English words such as man or wisA no one is able 
to make any such separation. '' The two cat^ories 
of noun and verb are kept clearly from each other." 
Not so in English : /^., man is generally a noun, but 
it is used as a verb when we say, ^* Man the ship " ; 
compare also / wish and my wisk " Nouns belong 

* OrmtuMu d$r SprMhwi$$$Htehmfi^ iii., a, p. 420. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



to one of three genders, masculine, feminine, or neuter." 
From English grammatical gender has disappeared. 
""The distinction between the several grammatico- 
logical cat^ories is here carried out strictly/' This 
is not the case in English, where, to mention only 
one point, nouns and adverbs may be used as 

3. (2) But if the old order has thus changed, 
yielding place to new, the question naturally arises : i 

Which of these two is the better order? Is the sum ! 

of those infinitesimal modifications which have led ] 

our language so far away from the original state to 
be termed evolution or dissolution, growth or decay? i' 

Are languages as a rule progressive or regressive? 
And, specially, is modem English superior or inferior 
to primitive Arian ? 

If I am right in my interpretation of the tendencies 
of recent philology, the answer cannot be doubtful ; 
but there is as little doubt that this answer will be 
the exact opposite of what an older generation of 
linguists would have given as their verdict. It may ( 
therefore be of some interest to examine more closely 
the linguistic philosophy of the age that is now going 
out. How did the leading men of some thirty years 
ago classify and estimate different types of speech, 
and what place did they assign to such languages 
as modern English ? 

It would scarcely be possible to find any one man 
better suited to represent typically the views here 
referred to than AUGUST Schleicher. In a series 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 




of highly important works^ he has dealt with problems 
of classification of languages and linguistic develop* 
ment in general : by his exceptional knowledge of 
a number of languages and as being the first 
master builder of that lofty structure, the Arian 
" ursprache," he stands out pre-eminently among his 
contemporaries, and exercises a vast influence down 
to our own day : in spite of all apparent diflerence, 
it is his ideas that form the basis alike of Max 
MOller*s brilliant paradoxes and of Whitney's 
sober reasonings : he is rightly to be considered the 
spiritual father of every comparative philologist of our 
own times, notwithstanding the gulf separating his 
views from those of some of the younger generation. 
Let us, therefore, try to give a short account of his 
leading ideas and the manner in which he arrived at 
them : our investigation will show the curious spectacle 
of a classification and a theory completely outliving 
the basis of reasoning on which they were founded. 

4« (3) From the outset Schleicher was a sworn 
adherent of Heel's philosophy : this is a fact well 
worth remembering, for not even the Darwinian 

> Spr^ckvergUickende UnUrsMchuHgeH : I. Zur vtrgL Sprachtn* 
gisehickU^ 1848; II. Di^ Spracken Eutopat^ 1850.— Z»r Morpholcgie 
der SprMchi^ St Petenburg. Acad. Imp^r., 1859.— Di« DtuUcht 
Spraikt^ i860; ate ausg., 1869. — DU Darwinuhe Theorie und die 
SprackwisunsehMftf 1863. — Di$ UnUnckeiduttg von Nomin u. 
Verbum (S&cha. OcteUsch. d. Wimnich.), 1865.— C/^r dit 
Beditttmng dir Sprmthi fikf dU N^turgaehichU d$t Minscksft^ 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


sympathies and views of which he was a champion 
towards the end of his career, made him alter the 
doctrines of his youth. The introduction to his first 
book is entirely Hegelian : it is true that he professes 
himself a follower of Wilhelm von Humboldt with 
regard to the division of languages ; but, as a matter 
of fact, this is what he is not. Humboldt has four 
classes : an Hegelian wants neither more nor less 
than three, and is therefore obliged to tack together 
Humboldt's " incorporating*' and " agglutinating " 
classes. Then everything is in order, and we are 
enabled philosophically to deduce the tripartition. 
For Language consists in vuaning (bedeutung ; 
matter, contents, root), and relation (beziehung ; 
form) ; tertium non datur. As it would be a sheer 
impossibility for a language to express form only, we 
obtain three classes : — 

Class L Here meaning is the only thing indicated 
by sound ; relation is merely suggested by word- 
position ; this is the case in monosyllabic languages, 
or, as they are also termed, isolating or root languages ^ { 
such as Chinese. 

Class H. Both meaning and relation are expressed 
by sound, but the formal elements are visibly tacked 
on to the root which is itself invariable : agglutinating 
languages^ eg.^ Finnic ; and 

Class in. The elements of meaning and of relation 
arc fused together or absorbed into a higher unity, 
the root being susceptible of inward modifications as 
well as of affixes to denote form : flexional languages^ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


represented by the two families of speech which have 
played the most important parts in the history of the 
world : Semitic and Arian.^ 

5. (4) According to Schleicher, the three classes 
of languages are not only found simultaneously in 

* I hope I shall be forgiven for not translating the following 
bit of Hegelian philosophy : ** War das erste die differenxlose 
identitat von bexiehung und bedeutung, das reine ansich der 
beziehungy das zweite die differenxiining in beziehungs- und 
bedeutungslaute — das. heraustreten der bexiehung in ein 
gesondertest lautliches dasein fur sich— so ist das dritte daa 
aufheben jener differenx, das sich xusammenschliessen der- 
selben, die riickkehr-xur einheit, aber xu einer unendlich 
I ' hoheren einheit, weil sie aus der differenx erwachsen, diese xu 

^ ; ihrer voraussetxung hat und als aufgehoben in sich befasst ** 

\^] (Sprackv^L Unt$rs.f L, 10). Schleicher is neither the first nor 

',^\ the only author who has divided languages into three groups : 

!*! his classification is nearest akin to those of Pribdrich 

I ScHLBOBL (non-inflexional ; — affixing (including among the rest 
|j Semitic) ; — inflexional) and of A. W. Schlboel (les langues 
! sans aucune structure grammaticale [i] ;— les langues qui 

emploient des affixes ; — les langues k inflexions). Besides, 
these we have Bopp: languages consisting of monosyllabic 
roots but without power of composition ;— languages of mono- 
syllabic roots susceptible of composition, among others the 
** Sanskritic,** ix.f Arian languages ;— languages of dissyllabic 

II roots susceptible of inner modification (Semitic); Grimm : non* 
^ ''ilexional; — flexional ; —analytic ; Pott: normal [flexional] ; 

— intranormal [isolating and agglutinating] ;— transnormal 
[incorporating] ; Max Mollbr : family languages (juxta- 
^ position) ; — nomad languages (agglutination) ;— state languages 

j (amalgamation). It will be seen that the only thing really ^ 

common to these systems is the number three. Of the various. ^ 
trinitiet Schleicher's has been the most widely accepted. ' ^ 


Digitized by VjOO^ IC 





the tongues of our own day, but they represent 
three stages of linguistic development ; ** to the 
ptebeneinandcr of the system corresponds the nadi" 
einatuier of history "• Beyond the flexional stage no 
language can attain ; the symbolic denotation of 
relation by flexion is the highest accomplishment 
of language ; speech has here eflectually realised its 
object, which is to give a faithful phonetic image of 
thought. But before a language can become flexional 
it must have passed through an isolating and an agglu- ^ 

tinating period. Is this theory borne out by historical 
facts? Can we trace back any of the existing 
flexional languages to agglutination and isolation? 
Schleicher himself answers this question in the n^a- ^ 

ti ve : the earliest Chinese with which we are acquainted ' ^ | 
is as monosyllabic as the Chinese of to-day, and the i 

earliest Latin was of as good a flexional type as are ' * 

the modern Romance languages. This would seem 
a sort of contradiction in terms ; but the Hegelian is 
ready with an answer to any objection ; he has the 
word of his master that History cannot begin till the 
human spirit becomes ^ conscious of its own freedom," 
and this consciousness is only possible after the 
complete development of Language. The formation' 
of Language and History are accordingly successive ^< 

stages of human activity.* Moreover, as history and 
historiography, i>., literature, come into existence 
simultaneously, Schleicher is enabled to express the 
same idea in a way that is '' only seemingly para- 

1 SprachvergL UnUrs.f i., i6; D4HUck$ 5/r., 35. 

Digitized 6y Google ' 




doxical/' ^ namely, that the development of language 
is brought to a conclusion as soon as literature 
makes its appearance; this is a crisis after which 
language remains fixed ; language has now become 
a means, instead of being the aim, of intellectual 
activity {SprachvergL Unters.^ i., 24). We never meet 
with any language that is developing or that has 
become more perfect {ibid.^ 13); in historical times 
all languages move only downhill ; this is not to 
be disputed (''das ist ausgemachte wahrheit," ibid.y 
14); linguistic history means decay of languages 
as such, subjugated as they are through the gradual 
evolution of the mind to greater freedom (i^/V/., 


6. (4) This doctrine of an antagonism between 
language and history is a pet theory which Schleicher 
never abandons; in his first book (ii., p. 134) he 
speaks of " die geschichte, jene feindin der sprache " ; 
and in his Darwinian period he puts it in this way : 
" The origin and development of language is previous 
to history, properly and strictly speaking. . . . History 
shows us nothing but the aging of languages accord- 
ing to fixed laws. The*idioms spoken by ourselves, 
as well as those of all historically important nations, 

> Sprackv^rgU Unkrs., i., 20. Thit " seeming paradox *' hat, 
however, been subsequently modified by Schleicher; see 
Diutsek$ Spr.^ 47, where he says : " People did not apply them- 
selves to writing or literature immediately after the acquisition 
of language ; writing requires no small degree of culture, and 
consequently presupposes some historical development **. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

.'V .0 


are senile relics" {Die Bedeut. d, Spr,, 27; cf. Die 
Darwinsche Tluorie, 27 ; D. Sfir., 37).* 

7. (5) According to Schleicher, then, we witness \ 

nothing but retrogression and decay; but as the Ij 

same view is found as early as Bopp, and as it is jc 

the fundamental belief, more or less pronounced, of \[ 
many other linguistic speculators, we are justified in | ; ' 

supposing that with Schleicher the theory is not / \ 

really due to the H^elian train of argument, but | J 
that here, as not unfrequently, reasoning is summoned 
to arms in defence of results arrived at by instinct. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


And the feeling underlying this instinct, what is it | | jl 
but a grammar-school admiration, a Renaissance 'l\ * ^ 
love of the two classical languages and their litera- ] ^ 
tures? People were taught to look down upon 
modem languages as mere dialects, and to worship 
Greek and Latin ; the richness and fulness of forms 


> A peculiar form of the downhill theory with special refer- 
ence to Romance languages is found in an early work of Gaston 
Paris's {R6U dc PAccsnt Latins 1862). In the primitive era 
we find language in process of formation, and regularity ; next 
comes the period of literary languages, in which the genius \\ y 

of the language goes astray on account of the imperfect 
knowledge of the educated classes, while the uneducated lose 
the proper linguistic tact, and corrupt the language ; finally 
[the holy number of three once more!] after the literary 
language is forgotten and the vulgar tongue has prevailed, a 
longer or shorter period of depravation is followed by a second 
formation of new languages; — *'mais comme, au lieu de se 
cr6er de premiere main, ils n*auront eu pour se construire 
que des mat^riaux d6j4 incoh^rents et degrades, ils seront 
inf^rieurs en beauty et en logique aux Ungues pr^c^dentes '*• 







found in those languages came naturally to be con- 
/ sidered the very dean uHa/ of linguistic structure. 
To men fresh from the ordinary grammar-school 
training no language would seem respectable that 
had not four or five distinct cases and three genders^ 
or that had less than five tenses and as many moods 
in its verbs. Accordingly, such poor languages as 
\ had either lost much of their original richness in 

grammatical forms {e^., French, English, or Danish)^ 
or had never had any (r^., Chinese), were naturally 
looked upon with something like the pity bestowed 
on relatives in reduced circumstances, or the contempt 
felt for foreign paupers. 
8. (6) Comparative philologists had one more 
i| reason for adopting this manner of estimating lan« 

;) ' K^^^* '^^ ^vhat had the great victories won by 
{i their science been due ? Whence had they got the 

^ material for that magnificent edifice which had proved 

spacious enough to hold Hindus and Persians, 
Lithuanians and Slavs, Greeks, Romans, Germans,. 
and Celts? Surely it was neither from Modern 
English nor Modern Dutch, but from the oldest 
stages of each linguistic group. The older a linguistic 
document was, the more valuable it was to the first 
generation of comparative philologists. An English 
word like Aad was of no great use, but Gothic Aadai 
dldeima was easily picked to pieces, and each of its 
several elements lent itself capitally to comparison 
mth Sanskrit, Lithuanian and Greek. The philologist 
w as ch iefly dependent for his material on the old and 




X * 


i irchaic languages ; his interest centred round their 

; uUer forms ; what wonder then if in his opinion they 

were superior to all others? What wonder if by 

jcompsLTing AadaLndJiadaidcifeiMa he came to regard 

the English word as a mutilated and worn-out relic 

of a splendid original? or if in noting the change from 

\ ^ the old to the modern form he used strong language 

[ ^nd spoke of degeneration, corruption, depravation, 

j] decline, phonetic decay, etc., or even adopted for 

\l himself Schleicher's noble simile ? ^ Our words, as , 

' ' ^'Contrasted with Gothic words, are like a statue that | 

I [ ihas been rolling for a long time in the bed of a river 

' jtill its beautiful limbs have been worn off, so that 

< now scarcely anything remains but a polished stone 

[ /^cylinder with faint indications of what once it was*' 

\^{Deuisc/ie Spr., 34). 

^^f 9.>(6) Suppose, however, that it would be quite 

, I out of the question to place the statue on a pedestal 

f / to be admired ; what if, on the one hand, it was not 

^ornamental enough as a work of art, and if, on the 

J other, human well-being was at stake if it was not 

.' I serviceable in a rolling-mill : which would then be 

^ the better, — a rugged and unwieldy statue, making 

* difficulties at every rotation, or an even, smooth, 

X easy-going and well-oiled roller ? 


1 1 

10. (7) Schleicher does not explain by what test ^:( 

he estimates the comparative merits of languages ; , ;. 

LI the whole tenor of his linguistic philosophy hinders ' ;' 

Jr him from getting at the only one that really is of 
f^ any value : the practical interests of the speaking (or 





^ \ 


talking) community. Schleicher emphatically repeats 
on every occasion that linguistics is a natural science ; 
he never wearies of insisting upon the distinction 
between linguistics (or glottics, as he himself terms 
it) and the purely historical science of the scholar 
(" philology " in the broad or German sense of the 
word). Language is to Schleicher a natural object, 
just as much as a plant is. And if you object that 
language is nothing but human action and has no 
material existence, he will answer^ 6y defining 
language in an entirely materialistic way as the 
result, perceptible through the ear, of the action 
of a complex of material substances in the structure 
of the brain and of the oi^ans of speech with their 
nerves, bones, muscles, etc. Anatomists, however, 
have not yet been able to demonstrate diiTerences in 
the structures of these organs corresponding to differ- 
ences of nationality, — to discriminate, that is, the 
organs of a Frenchman (qu& Frenchman) from those 
of a German (qu& German). Accordingly, as the 
chemist can only arrive at the elements which com- 
pose the sun by examining the light which it emits, 
while the source of that light remains inaccessible to 
him, so we must be content to study the nature of 
languages not in their material antecedents but in 
their audible manifestations. It makes no great differ- «h 
ence, however ; for **the two things stand to each other 
as cause and effect, as substance and phenomenon : a 
philosopher would say that they are identical "• 
> Cf. DU Btiiutung^ etc, 7*11. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



11. (7) I» for one, fail to understand how this can p 
be, what Schleicher believes it, " a refutation of the / 
objection .that language is nothing but a consequence 
of the activity of these organs". The sun exists 
independently of any human observer; but there could 
be no such thing as language if there was not besides 
the speaker a listener who might become a speaker 
in his turn. However this may be, it is certain that 
Schleicher never succeeds in establishing a rational 
basis for determining the relative value or merit of . 
different languages.^ 

But this is quite easy if we take for our guide an 
idea expressed long ago and with considerable em* 
phasis by VViLHELM VON HUMBOLDT, that language 
means speaking, and t hat speaking means action on 
thejgaitof .CLhyniaa Jbcing to make himself understood 
by somebody^clsc. T hen it b ecomes evident-Jthat.. ^ 
that language ranks highest which, goes fartliest in. the,, 
art of accomplishing, much with little means, or, in., 
other words, which is able to express the greatest— 
amount of meaning with the simplest mechanism. 

'As a rule Schleicher seems to take the morphological 
dauification as the starting-point for his estimates of lan- 
guages ; but this is not the case when, in Zur Morpk der Spr,^ 
p. 7, he taya that perfection in language is dependent on the 
~^n of the sounds (c£ p. xit t^Mf^ on Chinese). In Dii 
t Spr.t 34, he seems to establish a duality of phonetic 
^nd progress in function and syntax; and in the tame j' ' 
p. 60, we find one isolated expression that sounds 
quite modem : ** The old wealth of forms is now thrown aside 
as a dispensable burden**. 






\ ' 


\ 1 

1 \ 

4 ' 

• \ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



12« (7) Rask says ^ that *' an elaborate linguistic 
structure with a variety of endings in declensions and 
conjugations has certain advantages . • . but it may 
be that the advantages of the opposite simplicity are 
still greater*'. Madvig defends our modem ana- 
lytical languages with great vigour. He says that they 
are just as good as the old synthetic ones, for thoughts 
can be expressed in both with equal clearness ; 
poverty in grammatical forms is no drawback to a 
language. I shall try to show that we are justified in 
going still further than these two eminent men, and 
saying the fewer and shorter the forms, the better ; 
the analytic structure of modem European languages 
is so far from being a drawback to them that it gives 
them an unimpeachable superiority over the earlier \ 

stages of the same languages. The so-called full and 
rich forms of the ancient languages are not a beauty 
but a deformity. 

13. (8) In putting forward these pippositions, I am I 

not treading on entirely new ground. In JACOB | 

Grimm's singularly clever (though nebulous) essay on 
the Origin of Language (185 1), I find such passages 
as the following : ** Language in its earliest form was ^ t 

melodious, but diflfuse and straggling {weitschweifig { 

\. \ und kaltlos) ; in its middle form it was full of in- \ 

[ tense poetical vigour; in our own day it se^ to'Nr'vir 
remedy the diminution of beauty by the harmony of !: J 
the whole, and is more effective Uiough it has inlr<^or^[4 ' | 
means*; he arrives at the result that ^human^ 

I I: ' Sm m k4$ Afhrn ndlin g^^ L, 191. ^-^ . •• 


Digitized by VjOO^IC 





^ SprachwrgL Unt.^ iLt ajx. 

' In HeiTig*8 Atchivf. das Studium n$H$r$r SprackiHf 57, sen* 
'Compare Schleicher** expression, **the subju^tion c^ Ian- 
linage through the evolution of the mind,** quoted above, § 5. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


language is retrogressive only apparently and in 
particular points, but looked upon as a whole it is 
progressive, and its intrinsic force is continually 
increasing". The enthusiastic panegyric on the \ 
English language with which he concludes his essay 
forms a striking contrast to Schleicher's opinion that ^ 
English shows *'how rapidly the language of a \ 
* nation important both in history and literature can 
5ink ". 1 

14. In recent linguistic literature indications of a 
reaction against the prevailing manner of estimating 
languages are also found, though the reaction is only ^ . 
of a sporadic and rather timid character. Thus \,\ 
KraUTER • says : " The dying out of forms and sounds j | 
is looked upon by the etymologists with painful 
feelings ; but no unprejudiced judge will be able to 
see in it anything but a progressive victory over 
lifeless material.' Among several tools performing 
equally good work, that is the best which is simplest 
and most handy; this illustration has some signifi- 
cance for the subject under discussion. . . . That I 
decay is consistent with clearness and precision, is \ , 
shown by French; that it is not fatal to poetry, is ^!( 
seen in the language of Shakespeare/' \ ^^ 

OSTHOFF says: ''We should avoid a one-sided > - 
depreciation of the language of Lessing and Goethe I 





in favour of those of Wulfila or Otfried, or vice versa. 
A language possesses an inestimable charm if its 
phonetic system remains unimpaired and its etymo- 
I logics are transparent ; but pliancy of the material 
of language and flexibility to express ideas is really 
no less an advantage. Everything depends on the 
point of view: the student of architecture has one 
point of view, the people who are to live in the 
house another." * 

E. Tbgn^r gives as the conclusion of an interesting 
disquisition that "so far from being more perfect 
than both the other groups [agglutinating and 
isolating] the flexional languages are radically 
inferior to them because they impede liberty of 
thought "•* 

15. (8) As such utterances are, however, com- 
paratively isolated, and as the authors quoted, as 
well as the great majority of living linguists, are in 
many respects still in the toils of Schleicher's system, 
I hope that the following attempt to apply con- 
sistently the principle laid down in § 1 1, and to draw 
some further conclusions from the results obtained 
by comparison of the older and younger stages of 
Arian languages, will have some interest for linguistic 
students. My design being principally to gain in- 

.***Schrift8prache und Volksmondart,** in Smmmlung g$wmn* 
9$niL Vartrig$f 1885, p. 13. 

**&pr&kets makt 6fver tanken,** 1880, pp. 46-65. Satcb U 
\ alto an admirer of agglutination in preference to flexion, of. 
' below, 1 99. 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC 



sight into historical developments, it will be noticed, 
firstly, that I do not attempt to fix the comparative 
value of languages that are not closely related to 
each other ; and, secondly, that the examples I take 
are not isolated facts, but typical and characteristic 
of the total structures of the languages I am dealing 

\ ' 





\ J 



'I :( 

vi ^ .( 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 






16. (9) First, let us look at Schleicher's example : 
English had and Gothic habaidtdeifna. The English 
form is preferable, on the principle that any one who 
has to choose between walking one mile or four miles 
will, other things being equal, prefer the shorter cut. 
It is true that if we take words to be self-existing 
natural objects, habatdiddma has the air of a giant, 
and had (like most other words which have been 
exposed to phonetic changes carried on through a 
long succession of ages) is left a mere pigmy. If, 
however, we remember the fact that what we call a 
word is really and primarily the combined action of 
human muscles to produce an audible effect, we see 
that the shortening of a form means a diminution of 
effort and a saving of time in the communication of 
our thoughts. If had has suffered from wear and 
tear in the long course of time, this means that t])fi 
wear and tear of people now using this form in th^ir 
speech is less than if they were still encumbered with : 
the old giant habaidUUima (comp. below, § 92, foot- 

17* (10) But it is not only in r^ard to economy of 


Digitized by VjOO^ IC 


muscular exertion that the English had carries the 
day over the Gothic form. Had corresponds not 
only to luibaidideinia^ but ' it unites in one short 
form everything expressed by the Gothic hakaida^ 
habaidls^ kabaididu, /tabaididnts^ liabaididum^ habai-- 
diduj}^ habaididun^ habaididjau^ habaidideis^ habaididi^ 
habaidideiwa, habaidideits^ /labaidideima, habaidideij?^ 
Jiabaidldeifia^ — ^separate forms for two or three persons 
in three numbers in two distinct moods 1 It is clear, 
therefore, that the English form saves a considerable 
amount of brain work to all English-speaking people, 
and especially to every child learning the language. 
Some one will, perhaps, say that on the other hand 
English people are obliged always to join personal 
pronouns to their verbal forms, and that this is a . | 
drawback counterbalancing the advantage, so that 
the net result is six of one and half a dozen of the 
other. This is, however, not entirely the case. In 
the first place, the personal pronouns are the same | 
for all tenses and moods, but the endings are not. / 
Secondly, the possession of endings does not exempt 
the Goths from having separate personal pronouns ; . 
and whenever these are used, the verbal endings which 
indicate persons are superfluous. They are no less 
.superfluous in those extremely numerous cases in 
which the subject is either separately expressed by a 
noun or is understood from the preceding proposition. 
So that, altogether, the numerous endings of the older 
languages must be considered uneconomical 
18. (13) If I have shown that the older Arian 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 




language^ burden the memory by the number of their 
flexional endings, they do so no less by the many 
irregularities in the formation of these endings. Ir- 
regularity may be termed a consequence of flexion — 
not, indeed, a logical consequence of any definition of 
flexion, for we might very well imagine some language 
of the Volapiik kind in which all flexions were com- 
I^etely r^:ular ; but, as a matter of fact, such a 
language never existed In Latin, in Greek, in 
Sanskrit, in Gothic, in all existing flexional languages . 
of the same type, anomaly and flexion invariably go 
I together. Kihe accidence of Modem English nouns 
can be set forth in a few pages, this is not exclusively 
due to the fewness of the cases, but also to the fact 
that nearly all nouns are declined in pretty much the 
same way : but the further back we go in the history 
of English or any other cerate language, the greater 
is the number of exceptions and anomalies of every 
description which we shall encounter. This will 
become especially clear when the facts of grammar 
are arranged as I have arranged them below (chapter 
vt.). And it is not only the forms themselves that are 
irregular in the early languages, but also their uses : 
logical simplicity prevails much more in Modem 
English syntax than in either Old English or Latin 
or Greek. But I need hardly point out that growing 
iq^larity in a language means a considerable gain to 
all those who learn it or speak it 

19. (la) Let me here quote an interesting remark 
made by Fribdbrich MOllbr in speaking of a 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

' Grundrisi tUr SprMkwiii,^ L, a, 7. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




totally different language : * •• Even if the Hottentot," 
says he, ^ distinguishes * he/ * she,' and • it,' and strictly 
separates the singular from the plural number, yet 
by his expressing *he' and 'she' by one sound in * 
the third person, and by another in the second, and 
by his denoting the plural differently according to 
person and gender, he manifests that he has no per- 
ception at all of our two grammatical catq^ries of 
gender and number, and consequently those elements ^ 

of his language that run parallel to our signs of ' 

gender and number must be of an entirely different 
nature". Fr. Miiller certainly goes too far in this 
glorification of the speech of his own countrymen, 
on account of its superiority to that of the poor | 

Hottentots ; for could not the very same thing which •{ 

he objects to the Hottentot language be preciicated , I 

of his own ? ** As the Germans express the plural ^ 

number in different manners in words like ^// — T 

^dUer^ haful—kande^ voter — vatir^ frau^rauin^ etc, 1 

they must be entirely lacking in the sense of the ^j 

cat^ory of number ! " Or let us take such a lan- 
guage as Latin ; there is nothing to show that dominus 
bears the same relation to domini as verbum to vtrba^ 
urbs to urbes^ tmnsis to minses, comu to comua^ 
Jmctus tofructUs, etc. ; even in the same word the 
idea of plurality is not expressed by the same method < || 

for all the cases, as is shown by a comparison of ; \ 

4hminus — datnint^ dominum-^dominos^ dominO'''<UnH* \ '| 

iiftr, domini— dominorum. Fr. Miiller is no doubt I J 


wrong in saying that such anomalies preclude the 
speakers of the language from conceiving the notion 
of plurality ; but, on the other hand, it seems evident 
that a langus^ in which a diflerence so simple even 
to the understanding of very young children as that 
between one and more than one, can only be ex- 
pressed by a complicated apparatus, must rank lower 
than another language in which this diflerence has 
a single expression for all cases in which it occurs. 
In this respect, also. Modem English stands higher 
than Latin, Hottentot, or the oldest English. 

20. I must pause here a moment to reply to some 
objections that have been made to my manner of 
viewing these points. It has been said^ that the 
difficulties experienced by a grown-up person in 
learning a foreign language are not felt by a child 
picking up its mother tongue : children will learn an 
inflexional language with the same ease as one which 
is analytical ; the real dtfliculties in learning a foreign 
language are *' those thousands of chicanes caused 
by that tyrannical, capricious, utterly incalculable 
thing * idiomatic usage,* but this gives little or no 
trouble to children learning to talk'*. I think, how- 
ever, that if any one will listen attentively to chil.dren 
talking, he will soon perceive that they make a 
great number of mistakes, not only in inflecting 
strong verbs like r^;ular verbs, etc, etc., but also in 
arranging the words of a sentence in a wrong order, 

> Hbkmam Mollbk, Sard. Tidskrift /or FUotogi^ iu r. x. 
See csp. p. 295. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


giving unusual significations to words, using the 
wrong prepositions, and, in fact, violating usage in 
every possible way. In all this I see evidence of 
the labour involved in learning a language, a labour 
that is not to be underrated even when the language 
is learnt under the most favourable circumstances 
possible. And I think there can be no doubt that 
the exertion must be greater in the case of highly 
complicated linguistic structures with many rules and 
still more exceptions from the rules, than in languages 
constructed simply and regularly. It is, of course, 
impossible actually to prove that it is easier for an 
English child to learn to speak English than it was 
for a Gothic or Anglo-Saxon child to learn those 
languages ; but it seems highly probable. 

21. Nor is the difficulty of correct speech confined 
to the first mastering of the language. Even to the ^ 

native who has spoken the same language from a 
child, its • daily use involves no small amount of 
exertion. Under ordinary circumstances he is not 
conscious of any exertion in speaking ; but such a ' \ ^ 
want of conscious feeling is no proof that the exertion ; 

is absent And it is a strong argument to the 
contrary that it is next to impossible for you to speak J 

correctly if you are suffering from excessive mental f. 

work ; you will constantly make slips in grammar and # [ 

idiom as well as in pronunciation ; you have not the | 

same command of language as under normal condi- | ] 

tions. If you have to speak on a difficult and un- j i' 

familiar subject on which you would not like to say t ^ 




anything but what was to the point or strictly justi- 
fi^le» you will sometimes find that the thoughts 
themselves claim so much mental energy that there is 
none left for speaking with elegance or even with 
complete regard to grammar : to your own vexation 
you will have a feeling that your phrases are confused 
and your language incorrect A pianist may practise 
a difficult piece of music so as to have it ^ at his 
fingers' ends ** ; under ordinary circumstances he will 
be able to play it quite mechanically without ever 
becoming conscious of effort ; but, nevertheless, the 
effort is there. How great the effort is appears when 
some day or other the musician is ^ out of humour/' 
that is, when his brain is at work on other subjects or 
is not in its usual working order. At once his execu- 
tion will be stumbling and faulty. 

22. (i i) To return to kadzxid MabaidideifHa. If we 

look at the meaning of these forms we perceive that the 

English word has made a great advance on the road 

from the concrete to the abstract. It is a well-known 

law in psychology that the power of grasping abstract 

notions is of comparatively late growth in the indi- 

^ yidual as well as in the race. The development in 

language of grammatical forms of a more abstract 

character constitutes a great advance upon the earlier 

state when there was little beyond concrete terms. 

The notion that was formerly expressed by one 

inseparable word is now often expressed by means 

of a group of pronouns, auxiliary verbs, prepositions, 

and other little words, each with a comparatively 

Digitized by VjOO^ IC 


abstract signification^ It is one of the consequences 
of this change that it has become considerably easier 
to express certain minute shades of thought by laying 
extra stress on some particular element in the speech- 
group. The Latin cantaveram amalgamates three 
ideas into one indissoluble whole ; but in the English 
/ had sung the elements are analysed, so that you 
can at will accentuate the personal element, the time 
element, or the action. Now, it is possible (who can 
affirm and who can deny it ?) that the Romans could, 
if necessary, make some diflference in speech between 
cdntaveram (non saltaveram), ** I had sung^ and 
cantaverdm (non cantabam), ** \ Mad sung ^ ; but even 
then if it was the personal element which was to 
be emphasised, an ego had to be added. Even the I 

possibility of laying stress on the temporal element j \ 

broke down in forms like scripsi^ minui^ sum^ audiam^ 
and innumerable others. It seems obvious that the 
freedom of Latin in this respect must have been far 
inferior to that of English. Moreover, in English the 
three elements, ^ I," ''had,'' and ^ sung," can in certain 
cases be arranged in a different order, and other words j; j 

can be inserted between them in order to modify 
and qualify the meaning of the phrase. Note also 
the conciseness of such answers as ** Who had sung?" 
-' I had " ; « What have you done ? " " Sung." And T jj 

contrast the Latin '* cantaveram et saltaveram et )* ! ' 

luseram et riseram," with the English ** I had sung h 

and danced and played and laughed **, 

I. » ii 

23. (ii) In language, analysis means suppleness»l 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



and synthesis means rigidity ; in analytic languages 
you have the power of kaleidoscopical ly arranging 
and re-arranging the elements that in synthetic forms 
like cantaveram are in rigid connexion and lead a 
Siamese twin sort of existence. The synthetic forms 
of Latin verbs remind us of those languages of South 
America in which we are told that there is no word 
for •* head," or " eye/' but only for •* my head," " your 
head," " his eye," etc.* In one language the verbal 
idea (in the finite moods), in the other the nominal idea 
is necessarily fused with the personal idea. And if 
Latin^i/^r has the advantage over the American words 
that it is not always limited to " my father," or some- 
body else's father, it is limited in other* ways: it is 
one definite number, one definite sex, one definite 
case. It is more restricted in its use, more concrete 
than necessary ; and such a restriction is, or, under 
certain circumstances, may be, a hindrance to freedom 
or precision of thought. In Swedish niaki^ " mate,'* 
is masculine, and fpuzka feminine ; and TegnjSr ex- 
pressly regrets this distinction, saying : " On account 
of the impossibility of separating the stem mak- from 
the 'organically' coalesced endings -e of the mas- 
culine and -tff of the feminine, we cannot give such a 
form to the sentence 'sin make m& man ej svika' 
as to make it perfectly clear that the admonition is 

' So alto in other languages. ^ The Hottentot cannot use 
a noun without a pronominal suffix, indicating not only gender 
and case, but 'also person as well, except as a predicate ** 
Saycc, Introducikm^ i^ 579; Pr. MUller, Grundriu^ i^ ^ P- s). 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 



applicable to both husband and wife V In this case 
the Danes have advanced beyond their neighbours 
by abolishing the distinction and using tnage for both 

24. Most English pronouns make no distinction 
of sex : /, you^ we^ they^ wlio^ sowtbody^ etc And 
yet, when we hear that Magyar, and, indeed, the 
great majority of languages outside the Arian and 
Semitic world, have no separate forms for the mas- 
culine and feminine pronouns of the third person, 
that is, make no distinction between he and sht^ our i 
first thought is one of astonishment ; we fail to see I 
how it is possible to do without this distinction. But 
if we look more closely we shall see it is at times a 
great inconvenience to be obliged to specify the sex 
of the person spoken about. I remember once read- 
ing in some English paper a proposal to use the word 
thon as a personal pronoun of common gender ; if it 
was substituted for he in such a proposition as this : 
'* It would be interesting if each of the leading poets 
would tell us what he considers his best work," ladies 
would be spared the disparaging implication that the j f 

leading poets were all men. 

Now, than has no great chance of becoming popular, 
and the proposal has hardly any significance except 
as showing that the want of a genderless pronoun is 
sometimes felt And it is curious to see the different 
ways out of the difficulty resorted to in the language 
of daily life. First the cumbrous use of •'he or she,** 
^ > Sprikets Makt, 5a 

Digitized byVjO'OQlC 



as in the following sentences: ** Everybody to do 
just as he or she like9'' | Fielding, Tom /ones, i^ 174, 
" the reader's heart (if he or she have any) *' | 
Thackeray, PemUnnis^ iii., 294, ''every woman and 
man in this kingdom ivho has sold her or himself* | 
G. Eliot, Mill on the Floss, i., 54, ''each was satisfied 
with him or herself ** | Miss Muloch, John Halifax, 
Gifttliman/iU 128, "each one made his or her com- 
ment** I C Doyle, Study in Scarlet, 66, "the murderer 
has written it with his or her own blood ".^ In 
many cases he will be used alone in spite of the in- 
accuracy which results : compare, for instance : "If 
anybody behaves in such and such a manner he will 
be punished,** with, " Whoever behaves in such and 
such a manner will be punished ". 

But in many cases these two expedients will be 
found not to answer the purpose. If you try to put 
the phrase, " Does anybody prevent you ?•" in anoUier 
way, banning with "Nobody prevents you," and 
then adding the interrogatory formula, you will 
perceive that " does he *' is too definite, and " does he 
or she " too clumsy ; and you will therefore say (as 

^Dr. O. SiBMYB hat kindly tent me the following examples 
of this ungainly repetition in the Latin of the Roman Law 
{Dlg$$L iv., 5, a) : " Qui qumvi . . . capite diminuiidimiHuta ease 
dicentar,inMf MSM • • • iudicium dabo'* | (xliii.,30): **Quiquafn 
in poteatate Lucii Titii eat, ai if mv4 apud te eat, dolove malo 
ttto Return eat quo minua apud teeaaet,iUMfMiMMMexhibeaa'* | 
(xi^ 3): "jQui s$rvum i$rvam 0lUnum tdUnam recepiaae peraua- 
aiaaeve quid ei didtor dolo malo, quo $um $tm detoriorem 
fiicefit, in eum, quanti ea /^ erit, in duplum iudicium dabo *'. \ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Thackeray docs, Pendenms, ii., 260), "Nobody prevents 
you, do they 7 " although, of course, nobody is of the 
singular number and ought to be represented by a 
singular pronoun. In the same manner Shakespeare 
writes. {Lucr.f 125) : ^Everybody to rest themselves 
betake". The substitution of the plural for the 
singular is not wholly illogical ; for evtrybody is much j 

the same thing assail men/' and nobody is the nega- j 

tion of '*all men'* ; but the phenomenon is extended 
to cases where this explanation will not hold good. 
As this curious use of the plural pronoun to supply ] 

the missing genderless singular is not mentioned in I 

English grammars, as far ^ I know, I subjoin the j 

examples I have found of it : — j 

Fielding, Tom Jones^ ii., 160, ** every one in the | 

house were in (Aeir beds" | ibid., ii., 184, T 

''she never willingly suffered any one to ~ j 

depart from her house without inquiring into j 

their names, family, and fortunes " | ibid.^ iL, | 

248, " everybody fell a-laughing, as how could I 

they help it ? " | ibid., iii., 66, " the two parties | 

proceeded three full miles together before 
any one offered again to open their mouths " i j 

I G. Eliot, Mill, i., 12, ''if everybody was \\ \ 

what they should be" | ibid.^ i., 75, "it was 
not everybody who could afford to cry so much 
about their neighbours'* | ibid, i.» 310, " I 
never refuse to help anybody, if thieve a 
mind to do themselves justice** | ibid,\\.,io^, 
^ "I shouldn't like to punish any one, even if 


\> \ 


theyd done mc wrong " | Thackeray, Vanity 
Fair^ 338, " a person can't help their birth " 
I Ruskin» Selections^ i. 305, ** all that can 
possibly be done for any one who wants ears 
of wheat' is to show them where to find 
grains of wheat, and how to sow them " | 
Anstey, Vice Versd, 174, "no one but 
children invited, and everybody to do exactly 
what they like"| Mrs. H. Ward, David 
Grieve^ i., 325, " ' Somebody will see us I ' she 
cried in a fever, 'and tell father/ 'Not 
' they: I'll keep a look-out.'" | Cambridge 
Trifles^ 79, ^^ Everybody will forget them- 
selves " I Sketchley, Cleop. Needle, 27, •* as if 
it was easy for any one to find their own 
needle " | Sweet, Elementarbtich, 40, •• I don't 
know what's become of my umbrella. Sotfte 
one must have taken it by mistake, instead 
oi their own " | Murray, Dial. South, Scotl., 
192, " wad a buodie hurt thersel, yf they faell 
owre theare ? " 
26* English who is not, like the guis or gua of the 
Romans, limited to one sex and one number, so that 
our question " Who did it ? " to be rendered exactly 
in Latin would require a combination of the four: 
Quis hoc fecit? Qua hoc fecit? Qui hoc fearunt? 
Qua hoc fearunt? or rather, the abstract nature of 
who (and of did) makes it possible to express such 
a question more indefinitely in English than in 
any highly flexional language ; and indefiniteness it 

Digitized by VjOO^ IC 






many cases mean^ greater precision, or a closer 
correspondence between thought and expression. 

26* (11) The doing away with the old case dis- 
tinctions in English has facilitated many extremely 
convenient idioms unknown in the older synthetic 
languages, such as : ** The girl was given a book ^^ \ 
^' the lad was spoken highly of" | '' I love, and am 
loved by, my wife " | '' these laws my readers, whom 
I consider as my subjects, are bound to believe in 
and to obey" (Fielding, Tom /ones, i., 60) | "he ^ J 

was heathenishly inclined to believe in, or to worship, 
the goddess Nemesis" (i^/it/., ii., 165) | "he rather 
rejoiced in, than r^retted, his bruise " {iAid., iii ., 
121) I "many a dun had she talked to, and turned 
away from her father's door" (Thackeray, Vanity 
Fair, 9) | " their earthly abode, which has seen, and 
seemed almost to sympathise in, all their honour" 
(Ruskin, Se/ec/ions, i., 441).^ Another advantage 
is derived from the giving up of the distinctive 
forms of the singular and plural in adjectives and 

1 This manner of letting the same word be governed by two 
verbs of different construction is found as far back as the ' 
Anenn RiwU p. 128 : )v uiond haUfi & kunUtf eft§r hire. In the 
following quotation, the same noun is first object and then 
subject ; but this is very rare, and would no doubt be generally 
condemned. Thackeray,Ptfiuf^iiifis,ii^a2i : "all these facts gentle- 
men's confidential gentlemen discuss confidentially, and are 
known and examined by every person '*. Dean Alford, in Tks 
Quun't English, p. 103, mentions and blames the Oxford De« 

y^claration of the Clergy describing the Canonical Scriptures as 

jjt* not only containing but being the Word of Ood "• 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



adjectival pronouns, as is seen from a comparison of 
the English *' m/ wife and children '' with the French 
~ ma femme et ftus enfants,** or oi"* the local press and 
committees ** and ^la presse locali et Its comit^s 
lccaux*\ Try to translate exactly into French and 
Latin such a sentence as this : '' What are the present 
state and wants of mankind 7 '' (Ruskin, loc. cit., 405). 
In nouns, on the other hand, the two numbers are kept 
apart in English, except in a very few words (deer, 
sheep, series, cf. § 1 30). Danish has a somewhat greater 
number of words that are alike in singular and plural ; 
but the advantage of having everywhere the same 
indiflerence to number as is seen in English adjectives 
or in Chinese nouns will appear from the words that 
a Dane or an Englishman editing a text would use 
to express the same idea: '^et (singular) eller (or) 
flere (plural) ord (indifferently singular and plural) 
mangier her ** — ^Sinne (singular and plural) word (sin- 
gular) or words (plural) wanting here**. Cf. also the 
expression *' a verdict of wilful murder against some 
person or persons unknowml* where some and utikmntm 
belong to the singular as well as the plural forms x 
and Fielding's phrase {Tom Jones^ iii., 65) : ** Some 
particular chapter, or perhaps chapters, may be ob- 

27. (13) The languages we have here dealt with 
tend evidently in Uieir historical development to- 
wards general instead of special forms ; but insepar- 
able from this tendency is another, to get rid of thti 
rules of concord It is a characteristic feature of tin 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


' -^ — 

older Arian languages that the adjective is made to 
agree with its substantive in number, gender, and 
case, and that the verb of the predicate is governed 
in number and person by the subject The latter - [' - 

form of concord has disappeared from spoken Danish, \ X 

where, for instance, the present tense of the verb ' '• 

meaning ** to travel ** i$ -uniformly rejser in all persons \ «' 

of both numbers ; while the written language till \ ) 



quite recent times kept up artificially the plural 
rejse^ although it had been dead in the spoken 
language for some three hundred years. The old ^ ^ , 

inflexion is, to use Madvig's words, '' an article of | | 

luxury, as a modification of the idea belonging | 

properly to the subject is here transferred to the | J 

predicate, where it has no business ; for when we say j j 

' maendene rejse ' (die manner reisen), we do not 
mean to imply that they undertake several journeys ^} \ \ 

28. (13) By getting rid of this superfluity, Danish 1 ; 

has got tiie start of the more archaic of its Arian | ! 

sister-tongues. Even English, which has in most 
respects gone farthest in simplifying its inflexional 
system, is here inferior to Danish, in that in the 
present tense of most verbs it separates the third 
person singular from the other persons by giving it the 
ending -(^)f, and preserves in the verb to bi some other | 

traces of the old concord system, not to speak of the 
forms in -st used with thou in the language of re- 
ligion and poetry. Small and unimportant as these 

'^'Madvig, Kl^n€ phUoL SehnftM, a8; Madvig, Siesb^, 
•i. Tsh,/. FiioL^ n. r. viiL, 134. 

^ 3 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

-. A. 

I .J 


survivals may seem, still they are in some instances 
impediments to the free and easy expression of thought 
In Danish, for instance, there is no difficulty in saying 
*'enten du eller jeg har uret," as Aar is used both in 
the first and second persons singular and plural. 
But when an Englishman tries to render the same 
sentiment he is baffled ; *' either, you or J are. wrong " 
is felt to be incorrect, and so is ** either you or I am 
wrong " ; he might say " either you are wrong, or I/* 
but then this manner of putting it, if grammatically 
admissible, is somewhat stiff* and awkward ; and there 
is no perfectly natural way out of the difficulty, for 
Dean Alford's proposal to say ''either you or I is 
wrong*' (see TAe Queen* s English, 8th ed., p. 155) 
is not to be recommended. As he himself admits, 
^ the sound is harsh, and usages would be violated **. 
The advantage of having verbal forms that are no 
respecters of persons is seen directly in such perfectly 
natural expressions as ''either you or I must be 
wrong,** or "either you or I may be wrong," or 
" either you or I b^an it," — and indirectly from the 
more or less artificial rules of Latin and Greek 
grammars on this point, and from the following 
passages where English authors have cut the Gordian 
knot in different ways : — 

Shakespeare, Lav^s iMhour^s Lost^ v., 2, 346, 
*• Nor God, nor I, delights in perjur'd men " | 
ihid.^ As YoH Like It, i., 3, 99, " Thou and 
I am one " | Tennyson, Balin and Balay^ t 
(Works, ed. Tauchn., xii., 227), " For what'^sl 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


ever knighi against us came Or I or he Aavc 
easily overthrown " | Conan Doyle, Adven- 
tuns of Sfurlock Holnus^ i., 214, " The vessel 
in which the man or men tf/r". 
29. (13) The same difficulty often appears in 
relative clauses ; Alford {loc. cit^ 152) calls attention to 
the fact of the Prayer Book reading " Thou art the 
God that doeth wonders/' whereas the Bible version 
runs ** Thou art the God that doest wonders ". Com- 
pare also: — 

Shakespeare, i4 J You Like It, iii., 5, 55, "Tis 
not her glasse, but you \}x^t flatters her" | 
ibid., Measure for' Measure, ii., 2, 80, " It is 
the law, not I, condemne your brother " | 
ibid., Richard III., iv., 4, 269. " That would 
I learn of you, As one that are best ac- 
quainted with her humour ** [the first folio, 
instead of ""that are!' . reads ''being''] \ Mrs. 
H, Ward, Da^fid Grieve, i., 290, " It's you 
thatV been teaching Lucy these beautiful 
sentiments ". 
In all of these cases the construction in Danish is 
as easy and natural as it generally is in the English 
past tense : *' It was not her glass, but you that 
flattered YiQr'\ 

80. (14) The *Muxury" which Madvig spoke of is 

still more striking in the inflexion of nouns and 

adjectives. If we compare a group of Latin words 

such as o^ra virorum omniutn bonorum veterum with 

^a corresponding group in a few other languages of a 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



i, i 



less inflexional type: Old English, ealragodra ealdra 
Monna weorc ; Danish, alle gode gatnle mtgnds varker; 
Modem English, all good' old tnen's works, we per- 
ceive by analysing the ideas expressed by the several 
words that the Romans said really : " work/' plural, 
nominative or accusative + '' man," plural, masculine, 
genitive + "011," plural, genitive+**good,*' plural, 
masculine, genitive +" old," plural, masculine, genitive. 
Leaving opera out of consideration, we find that 
^ plural '* number is expressed four times, " genitive " 
case also four times, and '' masculine gender " 
twice;* in Old English the signs of number and 
case are found four times each, while there is no 
indication of gender ; in Danish the plural number 
is marked four times, and the case once. And finally, 
in Modem English, we find each idea expressed only 
once ; and as nothing is lost in cleamess, this method, 
as being the easiest and shortest, must be considered 
the best. Mathematically the different manners of 
rendering the same thing might be represented by 
the formulae : anx + bnx + cnx ■■ (an + bn + en) x = 

'If instead of omnium vtUrum I had chosen for instance 
muUorum wUiquorum, the meaning of masculine gender would . 
have been rendered four times ; for languages as a rule, espe- 
cially the older ones, are not distinguished by consistency. It 
is only for the sake of convenience that I have taken my ex- 
amples from Latin and Danish, which may here fairly ptand 
as representatives of pretty much the same stages of develop- 
ment as primitive A'rian and middle English, the examples 
being thus practically tjrpical of four successive periods of one 
and the same language. 

lU Digitized by VjOO^ IC 

^^^mmmmmmmmmmmmmmimmmmmmmmmm ^ mi m d 



8L (15) Thi^ unusual faculty of '"parenthesising" 
causes Danish, and to a still greater degree English, 
to stand outside of Schleicher's definition of that 
family of languages to which they historically belong; 
for according to him " the Arian noun (and adjective) 
as a living word can never be without a sign indicat- 
ing case "} I shall here quote an interesting passage 
from one of his books: '"The radical difference be- 
tween Magyar and Indo-Germanic [Arian] words is 
brought out distinctly by the fact that the postposi- 
tions belonging to co-ordinated nouns can be dis- 
pensed with in all the nouns 'except the last of the 
series, €^., a j6 embemek * dem guten menschen * {a 
for az^ demonstrative pronoun, article ; jS^ good ; 
ifnber^ man ; -mk -nak, postposition with pretty much 
the same meaning* as the dative case), for as-naJk 
{aHnak)j6'nak einber-nek^ as if in Greek you should 
say TO arfaOo avOpwntf. An attributive adjective 
preceding its noun always has the form of the pure 
stem, the sign of plurality and the postposition in- 
dicating case not being added to it. Magyars say, 
for instance, Hunyady Mdiyds tftagyar kirdly-nak (to 
the Hungarian king Mathew Hunyady), -nak belong- 
ing here to all the preceding words. Nearly the 
same thing takes place where several words are joined 
together by means of and.^' • 

' In the light of recent investigation, this sentence cannot 
even be maintained with regard to primitive Arian. See Bnig- 
mann*s GrundrUs, ii., 521. 
^Nomsn u. Virbum^ 526. Cf. also Vilhelm Thomsen: Det 


Digitized by Google ' f .- 

I : 



\ Zji. (15) Now, this is an exact parallel to the 

English group genitive in cases like ** all good old 
men's works/* "the Queen of England's power/' " Beau- 
mont and Fletcher's plays/* " somebody else's turn/' 
etc. ; and as this peculiarity of English has developed 
in comparatively recent times from a grammatical 
construction analogous to the Latin concord (as will 
be shown at some length in a subsequent chapter)^ 
we may perhaps be entitled to ask, may not the 
absence' of concord in Magyar be a comparatively 
^nodem simplification? In other words, may not 
the phenomena of concord be survivals from a primi- 
tive stage of linguistic development ? In undeveloped 
minds we often find a tendency to be more explicit 
than seems strictly necessary, as in the frequent 
emphasising of a negation by seemingly redundant 
repetitions. In Old English it was the regular idiom 
to say : nan man nyste i»an J^ing, " no man not-knew 
nothing"; so it was in Middle English, witness 
Chaucer's (C T. A., 70) " He neuere yet ho vileynye 
«c sayde In al his lyf unto no maner wight," and so 
it is in the vulgar speech of our own day : says Rob 
Jakin (in TAe Mill an the Floss, i., 327X "There was 
mver iiobody else gen (gave) me nothin' " ; whereas 
standard Modem English is contented with one 
n<^tion: $10 man knew anything, etc Concord 

nuiQraritke sprog (T$k.f. PhiMogi og Pmdag., viL, 170): a nsgy 
vdroibMH (in the Urge townX Buih-p Mohdcs- is Ndndomdl (at 
Buda, MohAC% and Belgrade Visuiimir orou f^U$Umm ((irom 
the RoMian prince V.> 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




seems to be 4 case in point, and this manner of 
viewing it will gain in plausibility by the phenomena 
of South African grammar treated in the opening of 
the next chapter. 

83. Here let us sum up the results of this chapter. 
The grammatical system of Modem English is pre- 
ferable to that of our remote ancestors, in that — 
its forms are generally shorter ; 
there are not so many of them to burden 

the memory ; 
their formation and use present fewer ir- 
regularities ; 
their more abstract character assists materi- 
ally in facilitating expression, and 
makes it possible to do away with the 
repetitions of languages which demand 



Digitized byVjOOQlC 

t 1 





84« (i6) Nowhere do the phenomena of concord 
seem to grow more luxuriantly than in the languages 
of those primitive South African tribes known under 
the name of Bantu, i shall give some examples, 
chiefly taken from the late W. H. I. Bleek's ex- 
cellent grammar;^ when these interesting facts are 
explained, we shall be able to draw some inferences 
from them with regard to our own group of languages. 

The Zulu word for ** man " is umuniu ; every word 
in the same or in a following sentence having any 

' Comparative GramnuMr of South African Language (London), . 
1.9 1862; il, 1869; the work has unfortunately never been 
finished. I have also made use of H. P. S. Schrbudbr, 
Grammatik for Zulu^sproget (Kristiania, 1850), and of the 
account of these languages in Fiu Mollbr's Grundrisi der 
Spraekwiuimehaft^ i., a (1877), PP- 238*262. The remarks on 
Bantu grammar in the text were written (and printed in the 
Danish edition) before the appearance of Torrbnd's Compar, 
Grammar of ths South African Bantu Languages (London, 
1891) ; a perusal of this important work has not caused me 
to make any change in my presentation of the matter, as his 
objections to Bleek's examples relate only to the syntax of the ' 
rwhf with which we have nothing here to do. 


Digitized by LjOOQIC 


reference to that word must begin with something 
to remind you of the beginning of umuntu. This 
will be, according to fixed rules, either mu or // or w 
or m. In the following sentence, the meaning of 
which is ** our handsome man (or woman) appears, 
we love him (or her)," these reminders (as I shall term 
them) are printed in italics : — 
umuntu wtta omuc\i\e i/yabonakala, si///tanda. (1) 

man ours handsome appears we love. 
If, instead of the singular, we take the correspond- 
ing plural abatitu, "men, people" (whence the generic 
name of Bantu), the sentence looks quite different : — 
abantw b^t\x ^^achle ^^abonakala, si^^rtanda. (2) 
85. (16) In the same way if we successively take 
as our starting-point ilisnve "country," the corre- 
sponding plural apfuuswe " countries," isizwe " nation," . 
izixwe " nations," intombi " girl," iziiUotnbi " girls,** 
we get : — 

r/ichle /lyabonakala, si/itanda. (5) 

/i/n^tchle /lyabonakala, sizc^/itanda. (6) 

^x/chle j/yabonakala, six/tanda. (7) 

^jariichle jr/yabonakala, sizitanda. (8) 

^nchle lyabonakala, si^/tanda. (9) 

m/itombi jretu ^jar/Mchle jr/yabonakaIa,sijr/tanda.(io) 

(girls) our handsome appear we love. ^ 

In other words, every substantive belongs to one 

* The change of the initial sound of the reminder belonging 
to the adjective is owing to an original composition with the 
"relative particle '* a, on becoming o, and «», t. The numbers 
I V within parentheses refer to the numbers of Bleek*s classes. 











) \ 


Digitized by VjOOQLC 


of sixteen distinct classes (termed by diflferent authors 
*declensionSy species, concords, genera, principationes), 
of which some have a singular and others a plural 
meaning ; each of these classes has its own '' deriva- 
tive prefix,** to use Bleek's expression,^ and by means 
of this class-sign the concord of the parts of a sen- 
tence is indicated. In the following example the 
same verb will be seen to have two reminders, one 
from the subject of the same sentence, and another 
from that of the preceding sentence : — 
ifiiiirtanda knttix ^^irkulu i^iiyabonakala; ABAntu 

love our great appears men 

BA/^irbona, si^Mbonakalisa. (15) 

(they) (it) see we it make appear. 
This example serves also to show us the resources 
of the language in other respects (tanda^ uiuianda ; 
boHa ''see," bonakala ''appear,** bonakalisa "make 

86. (16) It will be noticed that adjectives such as 
" handsome ** or "our** take different shapes according 
to the word to which they refer; in the Lord's Prayer 
given by Fr. Miiller " thy " is found in the following 
forms : /ako (referring to igama, " name," for i/igama, 
5), foko (ir^ifkumkani, " kingdom,** 14), /ako (iVitando, 
"will,** 9). So also, the genitive case of the same 
noun has 9 great many different forms, for the geni- 
tive relation is expreued by the reminder of the 
governing word + the " relative particle " a (which 

* An inhabitant of the country of C/ganda is called ifiiiganda, 
pi. teganda or miganda ; the language spoken there is Uganda. 


ioQ^lC-- * 


owibined .with the following sound) ; take, for 

iricc, inkosi " chief, king " : — 

ntu tc^nkosi, ''the king's man'* (i ; wi for 

w + a + i). 

ktu inkosi, " the king's men ". (2) 

re /enkosi, " the king's country ". (5) 

zwe ^kosi, ** the king's countries ". (6) 

/e jenkosi, •' the king's nation ". (7) 

anda ^enkosi, "the king's love".* (15) 

7* (17) " There is an appearance of redundancy/' 

Bleek (p. 107), ''in this frequent repetition of the 
ssentative elements of the noun, when they are 

used with all parts of speech, which have a 
ence to it But this will not much astonish those 
have studied the literature of primitive races, and 
V the construction of their compositions. 

With their frequent repetitions, 
And their wild reverberations.*' 

he goes on to quote an interesting remark of 
Livingstone's : " The chief use in the extraordin- 
'epetition of the signs of nouns which occur in 

Setshuana may be generally stated to be to give 
ision to the sentence. They impart eneigy and 
picuity to each member of a proposition, and 
cnt the possibility of a mistake as to the ante- 
nt They are the means by which with a single 
ble or letter a recurrent allusion to the subject 

have had to construct tome of these forms on the basis 
! materials given by MUller, p. 353 $q^ and Schreuder, p. 17. 
: does not treat of the genitive. 

mmmwmi \ ■iii 1 

Digitized by VjO 


•f I • 

Spoken of is made, which cannot be accomph's. — """^ 
our lawyers without the clumsy circumlocut '\cd W 
•said defendant/ *said subject matter/ etc., etcl'^ot^ ^ 
I cannot quite sympathise with you [Bleek] when v • • ' 
speak of that use as * cumbersome repetition '. Th%; 
absence of it, in the mouths of half-castes, speaking ' 
an ' impure form of Setshuana, used to sound in my 
ears excessively harsh. And the fact of the sign 
being the easily recognisable initial sound of the 
noun, prevented any of that doubt which- always 
clings to those abominations of the English language, 
'former' and Matter'/* 

88* (17) By way of contrast I translate a passac^e 
from an article by the German missionary, i. 
Brincker : '* Another characteristic feature is that 
with these people eloquence generally consists, as 
it seems, in the employment of a great number of 
particles of one or more syllables, most of them un- 
translatable and meaningless. What a torrent of* 
such waste-words {flickworter) issues from the mouth 
of a native orator ! Any one who is not familiar 
with the language is astonished to think how many 
thoughts must have been developed, and yet, at least, | 
one-third of all the words pronounced were nothing 
but those obscure particles, repeated over and over 
again, while most of them might very well have been 
left out without any loss to the purport of the speech. 
Nevertheless, the natives attach a great importance to 
the use of these particles/' ^ 

* Zur Spracfutt* und VdlkerkumU der BantunegiTt in Tech- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Ll^ (fS last remark of Brincker's shows that Living- 
fe«ie is right in saying that the prefixes are necessary 
o the Bantu languages, and that the structure of 
^ >hese languages is such that the omission of the pre- 
' J fixes would involve obscurity and ambiguity. But 
A still Bleek is right in speaking of the repetitions as 
"^ cumbersome, just as the endings in the Latin tiiulUh 
^' rum virorum antiquortim are cumbersome, however 
necessary and seemingly indispensable they were to 
Cicero and his contemporaries. / 

89* (18) But what is the origin of this South 
African system ? The problem has not yet been 
completely solved, though Bleek is very much in- 
clined to consider all Bantu nouns as originally 
compound words. As long as each component part 
is felt as relatively independent, it is natural, he 
argues, that the first part of the compound, which 
according to the structure of Bantu languages corre- 
sponds to the last element of our compound words, 
should be used as a representative of the whole word. 
Bleek illustrates this by means of English examples : 
the last syllable of the compound word steautship 
might be used to represent the whole word ; and thus, 
after once mentioning ••the steanu^j^," we might 
continue " our ship, which ship is a great ship, the 
ship appears, we love the ship'\ But in words where 
the syllable ship is a derivative suffix, it is incapaci-. 

^ mer*8 InUm. Z»., v., 30 (1889). Brincker's explanation of these 
grammatical phenomena is purely fanciful and scientifically 


worthless. I 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




tated from being used by itself for the purpose of .* • a ^y 
senting the whole compound noun. Thus in refere* ^^ ^f 
to the word *• friendi^///]^," it would be absurd to 
continue ** our ship, which- ship is a great ship, the 
skip appears, we love the ship " ; but that is just what 
the Zulus do, even extending the use to cases in 
which the Zulu ** derivative prefix " is as little felt to 
be an independent element as, say, the -^r of steamer. 
This is as if in reference to " the steam-^r/' we should 
continue **our er, which er is a great er^ the er 
appears, we love the er*\ (p. 107). Bleek very care- 
fully investigates the several classes of nouns in all 
the cognate languages, in order to determine from 
the meanings of the words belonging to each class 
the original signification of the corresponding prefix, 
but he himself acknowledges that great difficulties 
attend this task ; the want of old literary documents 
makes the whole investigation uncertain, as "will be 
easily understood by any one who may have tried 
to ascertain the original meaning of such English 
suffixes as -iloni^ -mss, -ship, etc, from an analysis of 
the nouns formed with them. A comparison of such 
nouns as 'kingdom, martyrdom, freedom,' etc, may 
give us an idea of the present value of the suffix -domt 
and of the meaning which it would give to such 
nouns as we can now form with it But this is a 
very diflerent thing from knowing what was the 
meaning of the syllable •di^M when used inde- 
I . pendently ; and we imagine that any guess at that 

meaning, without tracing it back historically, might | 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



be far from the truth'' (p. 125). I shall mention a 
few points of interest in his disquisition. 
iv 40* (19) The fifteenth class is characterised by 
\\kn; we saw above ^i^i^tanda, " love ". This is identi- 
Li fied by Bleek (126) with the preposition ku^ which 
^1 corresponds to English to, both in the local meaning, 

as in ngi-ya->&//-laba-bantu, " I go to these people,'' \ 

and before infinitives, as in ngi-ya->&i^tanda, which is 
literally "I go to love," and is used as a kind of 
future (comp. / am going to lox^e^ otje vats ainter) ; in 
u-^ii-tanda >h/-mnandi, '' to love is sweet," the first ku - 
is used as a derivative prefix, to which the second ku 
refers as a pronoun. Here I may be allowed to 
insert an interesting parallel; if such a word as 
Niu/amfahsis been named in a previous proposition, 
and you want to introduce it later on, say as the 
object of some verb, this is achieved by repeating Jttt 
instead of nkniaitda (cf. the last sentence in §35), 
exactly as in modem colloquial English, instead of 
repeating an infinitive, you may content yourself with 
using /^ as a substitute for it* 

^Dickens, Martin ChuxxkwU, aiy, '•Now you won't over- 
reach me ; you want to, but you won't " | Darwin, Lif^ i., 
1 17, ** The little beggars are doing just what I don't want them 
to" I Stevenson, /%// HytU, 60, "Take a quick turn with uk. 
I should like to very much " | Robert Elsmere, i^ 25, •• You had 
given up water-colour; and she told me to implore you not to," 
ftc^ etc How is this to to be classified ? I should like to call 
^.^it a new sort of pronoun ; it replaces the infinitive very much 
^^ *!>« wme way as •• it " does a subsUntive. This extremely 
onvenient use of to seems to have developed in this century ; 


Digitized by VjO 


j 41, (20) To the fifteenth Bantu class belong first 

I the unmistakable infinitives and some words in which 

; ' the verbal idea is still more or less easily discernible, 

isuch as ttJtucUa^ ** food ** (really '* eating *% and uJkusa, 
*• morning " (" dawning "), and, secondly, a number of 
words which cannot have been originally infinitives ; 
in many of these, meaning " desert," •* field,'^ ** open 
place," "winter," "rainy season,*' or some other 
r particularisation of place or time, Bleek says that 

i " the common origin of the prefix ku- and the pre- 

' position Jtu' (to) is almost evident". But whether 

f we take this " common origin " to mean a develop- 

ment of the prefix from an original preposition, as 
Bleek seems to think, or the development of the 
preposition and the noun prefix from some common 
source, in any case a good many nouns remain in the 

^ class in the case of which no connexion can be traced 

between the meaning of the noun and any of the 

I different meanings of the preposition. And this 

f difficulty in seeing reasons for a noun belonging to a 

particular class and to no other is still greater in all 

t the other classes, where it is often nearly impossible 

I to perceive anything common to all or to most of the 

nouns in the class. Nay, where we are able to find a 
connexion, it seems in many cases to be a derived 
and not an original one ; thus a great many names 
for living beings are comprised under the first class ; 

f it has suffered the same persecution from tchoolmasters ana i, 

I would-be grammarians as moet other innovations, no mattef< 

how acceptable. t 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



but it is probable that they were originally adjectives 
referred to umuntu and therefore taking the umu" 
prefix, which they subsequently kept even in cases 
where they were not joined to any umuntu (Bleek, 

p. 123). ^ 1 

42. (21) In several of the classes the words have a 

definite numerical value, so that they go together in ' 

pairs as corresponding singular and plural nouns (see * ^ 

"] the examples above): but though in the more ad- j^ 

vanced languages this is carried out pretty regularly, ,-, 

tlie existence of a certain number of exceptions shows | 

that these numerical values cannot originally have | 

been associated with the class prefixes, but must be due J, 

to an extension by analogy (Bleek, p. 140 sgq.). The f 

starting-point may have been substantives standing ;; 

to each other in the relation of " person " to •* people," i\ , 

" soldier " to " army,- •* tree " to « forest," •* ship *' to \\ 

*' fleet" {ibid.^ 144) ; the prefixes of such words as the \\ 

latter of each of these pairs will easily acquire a certain \\ 

sense of plurality, no matter what they may have 
meant originally, and then they will lend themselves 
to forming a kind of plural in other nouns, being 
either put instead of the prefix belonging properly to 
the noun (am^zwe, •'countries," 6 ; i/izwe, •'country,'* 
5), or placed before it (ma-luio^ •• spoons," 6 ; /«to, J 

"spoon," 11). Sometimes we find that instead of . 

being rq[ulated by the class to which the subject ;| 

belongs grammatically, the verb, etc, takes the re- 
minders of some other class by some consiructio ad 
seusum, just as in German the •• reminder " su may be 

Digitized by VjO 


used in referring to such neuter nouns as weid or 
maddudi ; instead of /rumbi rAndye ^ki!iru rAya, ** my 
eldest brother'* (5th class) "has gone away," you may 
hear ^rumbi i^^lndye omuV&xM uiysi^ where the re- 
minders are of the first class (Bleek, p. 1 56, note). 
As has been mentioned above, the first class comprises 
a great many words signifying living beings. 

48. (22) Thus an impulse is given to further 
deviations and changes ; and we are told (Bleek, p. 234) 
that in the north-western branch of the Bantu- 
languages ** the forms of some of the prefixes have 
been so strongly contracted as almost to defy 
identification. Thus prefixes may have been con- 
founded with each other, and correspondences differ- 
ing from the original ones may have arisen through 
the force of analogy. At the same time, the concord 
appears to be frequently employed in the north- 
western languages rather as an alliterative process, 
than in its original grammatical sense, or as a division 
of nouns into classes." In one of the languages we 
have a two-hundred-year-old grammar by Brusciotto 
ii Vetralla (see Bleek, i., 9). A comparison of the 
language described there with that spoken now-a-days 
in the same district (Mpongwe) shows that the class 
signs have dwindled down considerably ; instead of a 
whole syllable we have as a rule only a vowel left ; 
the phonetic shrinkage has been stronger in these 
grammatical elements than elsewhere ; ^ the number 

* Ct Bleek, i.t 47 : " The more frequent use to which, gener- 
ally, the grammatical elements of a language are subject has 

Digitized .by CjOOQIC 



of the prefixes and consequently of the classes has 
been reduced from 16 to 10: for instance, classes , 

II, 14 and 15 have been phonetically amalgamated j 

(Bleek, 223 ; cf. 132). I 

44* (23) Here I shall say good-bye to Bleek and 
shall try to obtain from these South African pheno- * f 

mena some results bearing on the development of 
languages in general, and in particular of languages 
nearer home than those of South Africa. The reader 
will then, I hope, understand that it was not out of 
mere caprice that I undertook my rambling excursion 
to those far-off r^ions. 

From the historical fact pointed out in the last 
section we may safely infer that if we were able to 
make acquaintance with the South African languages 
at a still earlier epoch, we should meet with a still 
greater number of classes than sixteen ; and moreover, 
that the reminders we should see prefixed to adjec- 
tives and verbs would be still fuller in form and more 

the tendency to more rapidly wear them off, and. by such 

modifications to bring them, as a general rule, into a more 

advanced stage of phonetical development. It is on this 

account that, in the grammatical elements of the Hottentot 

language, clicks and diphthongs have entirely disappeared • ^ . 

though three-fourths of the words of this language may be 

said to contain clicks.** This offers a welcome confirmation ( : 

of the theory advanced by me that the signification of a word 

or word element and the frequency of its use are important 

factors in its phonetic development. Cf^ my article **Zur 

Lautgesetsfrage ** in Techmer's InUrtuU, Zcitukr^ iii., 201, 

and Nord. fskr.f. PUohgi^ n. r. vii., 224. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


like whole words. And, maybe, we should then be 
still more inclined to doubt the correctness of Bleek's 
view, according to which every Zulu noun was origin- 
ally a compound word, whose first element was re- 
peated with the following words of the sentence. He 
seems not to have proved or even rendered it probable 
that there either is or has been so great a partiality 
to composition that all non-compound words should 
have disappeared from the language. It would be 
very strange indeed if it were so. 

45. (23) It seems to me much more probable that 
the origin of the whole system of reminders is to be 
sought in some primitive state of language necessitat- 
ing a perpetual repeating of complete words in order 
to be understood. To take as an example the first 
Zulu proposition given above, we cannot, of course, tell 
how it would look in a language spoken in Africa 
centuries ago ; but nothing hinders us from fancying 
its being originally made up of some such series of 
unconnected clauses as the following. (Unfortunately, 
I we are obliged to keep the modem Zulu forms, and 

'! - to use such pronouns as "ours" and **we," which 

may possibly not have come into existence at the 
time we are trying to imagine.) 
umuniu^ ** man " -> " I speak about the man " ; 
nmuHtu eiu, ''man ours"-'* the man is ours^ it is our 

man *' ; 
umuntn xahonaiata, *'man appear** -"the man ap- 

! '\'\ " pears"; 

V i si umuniM tanda^ "we man love "-"we love the 

5 ! man*. 


\ .: 



» w 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 




It seems by no means unlikely that some such f •;> 

method of joining sentences (and I am here speaking \ 

only of the joining of sentences and not of the forms 
or meanings of the separate words) should have ob- i 

tained in remote antiquity; neither does it seem 
improbable that in course of time such an uncon- 
nected or loosely connected sequence should have 
developed into one organic whole. This would be 
somewhat analogous to the *' integration " found in 
several languages, of which the following may stand . j ' 

as a specimen. Starting with a sequence of three 
co-ordinate sentences like these : — 

all be it ("let it be so in all respects) ; 

I neither lend nor borrow ; 

yet I will break a custom, — 
we get a gradual coalescence into one organic whole, 
a/6eit becoming a conjunction introducing the sub- 
ordinate clause, as when we read in Shakespeare 
(Merchant of Venice, i., 3, 62, folio) : " Shylocke, albeit 
I neither lend nor borrow By taking, nor by giuing 
of excesse. Yet to supply the ripe wants of my friend, 
He breake a custome ". Compare also the develop- 
ment of Latin licei into a conjunction, or of Latin 
fors'sit-an.forsitan; English, may-be; French, peut- 
itre; Danish, maaske, into adverbs; or that of such 
conditional sentences as •• Suppose he had died, what 
then ? " or *' Had he been there, she would have been 
saved ". [ f 

46. (24) So far, then, we seem to be on sure 
ground Neither does there seem to be anything 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




rash in assuming that accentual law to hold good in 
man's first language which we find everywhere in our 
own times and which is formulated by Sweet as 
follows : * ** All words that express new ideas are 
more or less emphatic ; while words that express 
ideas already familiar or that can be taken for 
granted are unemphatic ** \ if we begin a story with 
the words ''A German came to London/' we give 
stronger stress to German and London, than when we 
go on '^ ... the German left London, and went to 
Liverpool '*. And this feebler stress has as a conse- 
quence a less distinct pronunciation of each of the 
sounds making up the words. 

47. (24) Add to this another tendency found in 
all languages, as far as I am aware, that of shorten- 
ing frequently repeated words, especially compound 
words when they are no longer felt as compound 
words, the meaning being associated with the word 
as a whole rather than with the sieveral parts : when 
this is the case, it is of no consequence to the speaker 
that etymologically the word is, i>., once was, a com- 
pound. This shortening takes place extremely often 
in proper names ; * in Greek, we see a great many 
abbreviations used as pet-names, ^^•, Zeuxis for 
Zeuxippos, Zeuxidamos, Zeuxitheos, etc, so in Old 
f* High German Wolfo?XzxiA% for Wolfbrand, Wolfgang, 

etc Icelanders say Sigga for Sigr/dr, Siggi for 

M Prlnuf of SpofUn EnglUk^ P* ^9. 

*Ct Brugmaniit Grundriud, vgl. Grtm^^ ii., 33, and the works 
there quoted. 

Digitized by VjOO^ LC 





Sigurdr, and so on in most languages. Abbreviations *'. , 

of this character do not belong to any particular time *. 

or to any particular country ; they grow luxuriantly ^ . 

everywhere, and are not at all confined to children's C J 

language or to those cases which are sanctioned by <, '^.l 

tradition, like Rob, Jim, Dick, etc. Thus, in the | \ 

beginning of this century Napoleon Bonaparte was < "j. 

generally called Nap or Boney ; and Thackeray \ u i 

constantly says Pen for Arthur Pendennis, Cos for ^ ' 

Costigan, Fo for Fokcr, Pop for Popjoy, old Col for. 5 j; 

Colchicum, etc., etc. This is quite natural ; wher- 
ever a person is often spoken of, the speaker is under- 
stood by everybody before he is half through the name, 
if it is a rather long one, and therefore he often does 
not take the trouble to pronounce the latter part of it. 
He thus exemplifies the principle we meet with every- 
where : people do not pronounce distinctly unless they 
feel that distinctness is necessary if they are to be 
understood ; whatever is easily understood from the 
context or from the situation is either slurred over or left 
out completely.^ This principle will account alike for 

' I must once more beg permission to refer to my article on 
StfMiuf Laws, see above, §43, note. Compare also the shortenings • 
of reduplicated syllables (Brugmann, loc. a/» ii., 11 sqq.; Noreen, 
Urgenmaniscfu LautUhn, p. 225 $qq.). In wrUiug, too, the same 
processes may be observed, not only in the use of initial letters 
instead of Christian names and of such standard contractions 
as Biq,, Mr,, M.A., $ic., but also in other cases ; thus in letters .., 

the same proper name or technical term will often be found to ^f 

be written distinctly the first time It occurs, while later on it is 
either not written in full or else written carelessly and illegibly. 

i : ■ 

I ; 



nigiTiTPrl hy 



' 1 1 



1 I 

most of thi gradual sound changes in languages, and 
for such violent curtailings as cad for cabriolet, caps 
for capital letters, the Cri for the Criterion, pAis for 
physiognomy, sav for sovereign, or French aristi^ for 
aristocrate, BouU-Aficlu for Boulevard St. Michel, and 
so on.* 

48. (24) Now I fancy it must have been by the 
same process that the Bantus have arrived at the 
use of wnu as a representative of umuntu ; the ten- 
dency to use a half-word in this manner may have 
been strengthened by the fact that in some cases a 
word was felt as a compound, so that the first part 
of it could be used independently. 

However this may l>e, so much is certain, that in 
these languages we see the ORIGINATION OF PRO- 
NOUNS by natural means; whether Bleek is right 
in r^arding the beginnings of words as first parts 

Any shorthand writer knows how to utilise this principle 
syttematicaliy. I found a curious illustration of the identical 
shortening process in yet another domain, in the following 
scrap of conversation (Maupassant, Bel Amiy p. 8) : ** Voili six 
mois que je suis emplayi aux bureaux du chemin iU/er du Nord *\ 
** Mais comment diable n*as-tu pas trouvu niieux qu*une place 
d'emphyi auNord?** 

>C£ Tegn^r, EUiptiska Ord, Pilologmodet i Kristiania, 1881, 
p. 58 ; Storm, EngL Pkihiogie^ 1881, pp. 158, 436 ; Earle, PkiioL 
Engl. Tougue^ 1871, p. 309; Pierson, MHrique naiurelU du 
Lmf^H^$ 1883, p4 247 sqq. ; Passy, Chungemeuts PhonUiques^ § 320 ; . 
Behaghel, Deuische Spracke, 1886, p. 68; Stoffel, Studies in 
Bmgliskf P* 349. See also Addison, The SpecMor^ No. 135, Aug. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


ofcompoundsy or whether they stand for complete 
words, they are originally nouns, ^ full words " (not 
"demonstrative roots"); and in their function as what 
I have called reminders they correspond to pronouns 
in our languages ; for what else are many pronouns 
(especially the personal pronoun of the third person, 
the relative, and some of the demonstrative pronouns) 
but signs to remind us of what has been mentioned 

49. (25) Further, we witness the ORIGIN OF OTHER 
GRAMMATICAL FORMS, that arc to be classed partly 
with the flexional forms of nouns and adjectives 
("our"sste«tu when referred to umuntu, but /etu 
when referred to ilizwe, which is much like Arian 
gender; in § 36 we saw something corresponding 
to our genitive), partly with verbal endings. And 
it should be remembered that we sec these forms 
come into existence quite naturally from a more 
primitive and thoroughly concrete state of language, 
without any intention on the part of speakers to 
create anything new. They only indulge in the 
universal inclination to save oneself trouble, that is, 
in this case, to pronounce as few sounds as is com- 
patible with making oneself understood. 

60. (25) Finally we set the development of some- 
thing that may be compared to our article; for as 
timu was used with other- words as a reminder of 
umuntu, people seem to have come to look upon it 
as a reminder in the word umuntu itself, which was 
accordingly understood as umu (a sort of class-sign 

Digitized byCjOOQlC 

' .) 

I ' ' 


'z to indicate the grammatical construction of the word, 

i like the German der^' dU^ das) + ntu, which thus 

»ir appropriated to itself the meaning "man". This 

' *'. shifting of the popular linguistic conception of the 

'^ constituent elements of a word is analogous to the 

"2 popular misdividing of anatomy in English into an^ 

\ atomy^ an being taken for the article, as in an atom, 

K an attic, etc., and being subsequently subtracted 

/ (•• the aiomy ") ; or that of acute into a + cute^ the word 

il dUe then being deduced from it. In the ending of 

« words we see very frequently the same process ; a 

few centuries digofiease was both singular and plural, 
corresponding to Old English singular, pise^ plural, 
, pisan or piosan ; then the s was regarded as the 

common plural ending and subtracted so as to form 
.| ' the new singular a pea, which is not found in Shake- 

speare, and which is mentioned by Butler (A.D. 1633) 
as a cockneyism ; in the same manner cherry is for 
cfierris (cf. French cerise)^ ridd/e for riddles (Old 
! :; English rcedeis), and there are many other cases. ^ 

1" Now, the same process of subtraction seems to have 

obtained, or at any rate to be now in operation, in 
\ .^ Bantu languages, as lexicographers enter the word 

|| which I have mentioned so often, not in the form 

i tt$itU9$tu, but as ntu ; it is true that Bleek .protests 

against this division of the word;* but if he is 

1 1 have collected not a few of these ** back-formations,'* 
, J %nmy^^T**OmsuhtrMion9daHH€lur,$mrligtphdan$kog€ng$Uk^ 

\ in Fatskrift tU Vilk. Thamun, 1894. 

^S^ Grimm^M Lmw in South i4/riM, Transact Philol. Soc., 
1873.4, 190. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


right from an etymological point of view, he is 
perhaps wrong from the point of view of the actual 
linguistic instinct of the natives. 

51. (25) If I sum up by emphasising the fact 
that in the Bantu languages this development of 
grammatical signs and cat^ories has gone on in- 
directly and through a shortening of longer word- 
forms, and not through an extension of shorter words 
by means of formal elements, the reader will see how 
this long — ^perhaps too long — disquisition has some 
bearing on the comparative grammar of Arian ; for 
the results arrived at go dead against a great many 
of those explanations of the origin of Arian forms 
which have hitherto been given by philologists. 

52. (26) Madvio's philosophy of language was 
on the whole rationalistic ; but he certainly in many 
respects exaggerated the intellectual faculties of " the 
creators of language,^ ^ as will be seen very strikingly 
in the following passage : ** Gender in languages was 
created by those who first hit upon (and adopted the 
habit of) keeping some particular phonetic modifica- 
tion of the demonstrative pronoun to indicate the 
special shade of signification of the noun ; in our 
family of languages by those who added to the 
pronominal .stem the open and soft vowel sound 
[a] . . • the quality of feminine being expressed by 
the more soft, open and lingering close of the uttered 

^ These were, according to him, exclusively men ; women 
had no share in framing the first language (Om Kdnmt i 
Spfogim, p. i8). 






uj sounds". Madvig himself had an impression that he 

^' had here resorted *to the method of explanation by 

i ! means of sound symbolism, of which he is usually a 

Mil fierce (in my opinion, too fierce -an) antagonist, for he 

!;il says by way of apology: "Such an origin, in which 

t; the character of the sound had a meaning and im- 

;] parted it, we must specially imagine for ourselves in 

this case rather than in dealing with the formation of 

other primitive utterances, because we have not here 

t^ to do with the name of some definite conception, but 

i/ with a general modification, with the influence of an 

incidental condition**. Now, I must confess that I 

can more easily imagine to myself primitive man 

hitting on a new sound to picture to his ear an 

;| entire perception which impressed him, but which his 

language was too poor to express, than fancy him 

!, adding an a to an existing genderless pronoun, in 

order thereby to denote the delicacy of das ewtg- 

tveiblicfu. And even if such a conceit might once 

i come into his head, it is somewhat doubtful if his 

contemporaries would be able to sec the drift of his 

long a and make an appropriate use of it with their 

own pronouns. 

68. (27) Equally unsatisfactory are many other 
1 1 explanations that have been put forward by com- 

parative philologists in their fondness for constructing 
hypotheses concerning primitive ages. Indeed, the 
history of comparative philology shows how very 
short-lived many of these explanations are : here to- 
day and in the waste*paper basket to-morrow t To 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



show what sort of hypotheses I am alluding to, I 

Hhall have to quote somebody, for fear people should 

say that I am tilting at windmills ; and I take a 

paper by the clever Norw^'an philologist A, Torp/ 

for no other reason than because it is the last paper 

of this description that has come into my hands ; I 

shall add a few criticisms within brackets. He says : 

"The common Indo-Germanic [Arian] language 

possessed several declensions; but it is a priori 

improbable that this should be the original state of 

things. The plurality seems necessarily to have 

developed out of an earlier unity. [Experience in 

historical times, in our family of languages as well as 

in that of South Africa, speaks rather in favour of a 

development in the opposite direction, from multiplicity 

towards comparative uniformity.] . . • Among the 

most primitive elements of language I reckon j 

particularly those stems that are seemingly formed 

from the verbal root by means of the suffix -<?, both 

on account of the simplicity of their formation [simple 

things are pretty often of quite recent growth], their 

indefinite signification, as nomina agentis^ as denoting 

products, as abstract terms, etc [this is no decisive 

proof, the word " abstract " must create suspicion, if 

nothing else], and their number. [I f the old languages 

of our family were dead, it would be possible by 

means of the same arguments to prove that the weak 

* ''KoA«/* og koHsofMHisiammert** in Akademiski M/kimd' I,] 

linger iU SophHS Buggc, Krittiania, 1889; cf. Ihn Grmtk$ * 

Nominafflexion, af A. Torp, ibid,^ x89a ^ 



\ : 


?^' I 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



^ .verbs in English were the most primitive.] . . . 

Later on, certain endings were joined to these stem 

I forms, the language intending thereby a more 

definite denoting of the case relations (case endings). 

; [Language neither can nor does intend anything; 

those who speak it intend nothing but to be under - 

I stood at the moment; therefore they do not add 

j anything to denote more definitely something of 

', which they can have no notion.] These case endings 

, have long been justly looked upon as consisting of 

i pronominal stems. [It is possible that this may turn 

j out in the end to be the correct View ; but hitherto 

I there is not one single ending with regard to which it 

has been shown with any d^ree of probability how a 

] pronoun could modify the meaning and function of a 

; noun in that particular way.] ... Thus -s in the 

nominative singular is certainly the same pronominal 

i ' .stem as that which is used as a demonstrative pronoun 

I in the form so^ se [but what is the origin of so^ sc 

itself?] ; the -/// of the accusative is the same element. 

as that found in ine^ the pronoun of the first person, 

I which was in all probability originally a demonstrative 

pronoun also. [Would it not be safer to confess that 

one has not the slightest idea of the derivation oi-m 

than to bring forward an explanation presupposing 

violent changes of, without making the least 

attempt to commend such an assumption by adducing 

hypothetical connecting links?] ... the ^-stems are, 

I fancy, formed by an element -§, which was, I 

suppose, properly a pronoun used to denote the 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


reminine gender, being added to the ^sterns before 
these had yet adopted case endings.'' 

54. (28) If theories about the origin of things are 
not to be worthless, they must on every point be 
substantiated by analogies from processes going on 
now-a-days, and capable of direct observation and 
control. We must, accordingly, ask ourselves: Do ' 

we ever witness the genesis of any new flexional 
endings or similar elements? If we do, we cannot 
be far wrong in thinking that those formal elements j 

of language whose origin lies far back in pre-historic i 

times, must have arisen in similar ways and through | 

the same agencies. !; 

Now, there is one method of accounting for the 
genesis of the elements we are here speaking of, 
which seems so natural and obvious that it is no 
wonder that very extensive use has been made of 
it ever since the first beginnings of comparative 
philology, namely, the agglutination theory. Accord- 
ing to this theory two words, originally independent 
of each other, so often stand together that at length 
they are combined into one indissoluble unity ; one 
of the two gradually loses its stress, and finally be- j 
comes nothing more than a suffix of the other. 
Thus, without the least doubt, the Scandinavian 
passive voice originates in an agglutination of the 
active verb and the pronoun sik; Old None, peir 
finna sik, " they find themselves," or " each other," 
gradually becomes one word, ^/V fintiask ; Swedish, 
di finnas ; Danish, de findes, *• they are found *•. 


f J 

• r 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


. - 1 


Similarly the future tense of the Romance languages : 
Italian, Jlnirb; French, j€jlmrat\ ** I shall end/* from 
Jlm're liobeo {finir /io^finir at), ** I have to end ". The 
Scandinavian suffixed article is a-third case in point, 
if we are allowed to consider it as a kind of flexion : 
Old Norse, Ptanfunn (tnanninn), accusative ; Danish, 
inanden, " the man " ; Old Norse, landtt (Jandit) ; 
Danish, landtt, ''the land," for original mann, land 
+ the demonstrative pronoun enn, neuter et} 

65. On the strength of these formations it has 
been concluded that all derivative^ and flexional end- 
ings had a similar history, that is, they were all 
independent words before they became agglutinated 
to, and fused with, the main word. This is the 
theory prevalent among all the leading linguists, not 
only of the times of Bopp and those of Schleicher, 
, but also of quite recent days. Thus Whitney says : 
"" Suffixes of derivation and inflexion are made out 
of independent words, which, first entering into union 
with other words by the ordinary process of composi- 
tion, then gradually lose their independent character, 
and finally come to be, in a inore or less mutilated 
and disguised form, mere subordinate .elements, or 
indicators of relation'*. And again: ''The grand 
conclusion, however, at which historical study has 

, ^surely and incontrovertibly arrived, is that all the 

grammatical apparatus of languages is of secondary 

; jgrowth; the endings of declension and conjugation, 

'Ct alto RoumaniAn dottmui, ''the master,** for Latin 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 







the prefixes and suffixes of derivation, were origin- 
ally independent elements, words, which were fii^t 
collocated with other words, and then entered into 
•combination and were more or less thoroughly fused 
with the latter, losing their primitive form and mean- 
ing, and becoming mere signs of modification and 
relation ; hence, that the historically traceable be- : f 

ginnings of speech were simple roots ; not parts of j f| 

speech even, and still less forms *\^ - \:i 

H. Paul says : ** The strictly normal origin of / 

all formal elements in language is always compo- '5 

sition ; " and in criticising the particular manner in 
which this process has been supposed to work, he 
still assumes the truth of the general theory : " the 
first foundation of derivation and of flexion was 
created by the coalescence of originally independent 
elements; but then, as soon as these foundations 
had come into existence, they had to serve as patterns 
for formations by analogy V 

Brugmann says: ''What is included under the- 
names of stem-formation and flexion depends on a ' 
uniting and more or less close fusion of originally 
independent elements **.• 

G. V. D. Gabelentz expresses himself to the same 
eflect: ''As far as authenticated facts of linguistic 
history go, all external expedients of derivation and 

^Lif$ and Growth of LdnguagSt 1875, 124-5. OrUnUl and 
LtnguiiUc SiudUif I 283. 

* Prindpim d$r Spraehg$$ch^ and edit, z886» pp. 374, 297. 
^Grundfiu d. vgk Grmnm^ ii., 1889, { i. 

• ■ ■ ■ -^ f-l 

1 1 1 !■■ 

* s. 

4 ;J 

*' t 


. -• ! 


accidence originate in agglutination, that is, in the 

adding of originally independent words''.^ 

: f Similar expressions might be adduced from other 

i eminent philologists, such as Tegn^r (who holds 

^Ij .. tliat the transition from agglutination to flexion 

>' constitutes a retrogression), SwEET, and Herman 

';• MfiLLER.* 

56. Now, of course it cannot be denied that similar 
, «r processes may have been going on at any time, and 

: [* that some flexional forms of old Arian may have 

arisen in this way. But when the inference is that 
they are a// to be explained in this manner, and that 
!-; here we have the key to flexion in general, great ex- 

ception may be taken. First, the number of actual 
forms proved beyond a doubt to have originated 
through agglutination is very small; the three or 
four instances named above are everywhere appealed 
to, but are there so many more than these? And are 
they numerous enough' to justify so general an asser- 
tion? Secondly, these three or four instances can, 
I I at any rate, prove nothing as to the genesis of flexion 
in general from agglutination preceded by isolation ; 
^for in all of them the elements were fully flexional 
before the fusion (cf. Ital., anuria amerai^ ameri^ 
etc; Old fiorst^finHasi^fannsk; maXSrenft, maHnefm^ 
9HansiHs). What they show, then, is really nothing 

>i>M Spmekwnsumckaftf 1891, p. 189. 

•Tegn^r, Sprdk$it MM^ 1880^ etp. pp. 53.54 ; Sweet, Ntm 
Bngfi$k Q rmmma r^ 189a, { 559; H. MdUer, Tih, /• PiM,^ n. r. 
**f 1^ •99* 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



but the growtli of new flexional formations on an old (l ) 
flexional soil. Thirdly, it may be objected to the 
theory that, assuming it to be true, we should expoct 
much more r^^Iar forms than we actually find in the Ql) 
^ild Arian languages ; for if one definite element was 
added to signify one definite modification of the idea, 
we see no reason why it should not have been added f 

to all words .in the same way ; as a matter of fact, f 

the Romance future, the Scandinavian passive voice |; 

and definite article present much greater r^^larity 
than is found in the inflexion of nouns and verbs in j 

old Arian. . | 

57. (28) And finally, the agglutination theory must I 

cease thought the only possible way of account- 
ing for the origin of flexional endings, as soon as 
we are able to point out certain endings which t^) 
undoubtedly have originated in quite a different 
manner. Such endings, however, are -^ in English 
oxen, German ocAsen, and ••^ in German rinder, ^fJJ 
Idmmer. Here originally -in and -/r belonged to the 
word through all cases and all numbers ; 0x was an 
//•stem in "the same way as, for instance, Latin 
Yiovcio(n), hom/Vfem, hom//fis, etc., or Greek kuo^i, 
ku/ia, kui»os, etc, are n-stems ; cf. Sanskr. vklan- ; and 
the other •words were originally €S- and ^x-stems, 
comparable to Latin geni/x, gen/ns from older gen/iis, 
Greek gen^j, gen/(j)os, for original s develojM \ 
rq^ularly rJn. the Germsyiic^ languages, I 
wheh eyerjt is preced ed by a weak vowel.^ No one, 
in considering the Latin forms hotnifus or gttura^ 







w . would dream of the possibility of the syllables in {en) 

J and er becoming the sign of the plural, when the 

■*l same syllables i4>peared in the singular as well Yet, 

'^ in Germanic, where the declension was originally 

4 strictly analogous to that of Latin, this has actually 

A come to pass : the final syllables of the nominative 

'••. and accusative singular were dropped by a r^;ular 

r; phonetic change, while in the plural n and r were 

•^'1 kept because they were protected by a following 

syllable, which had first to be worn away. The 

['\l result is that now plurality is indicated by an ending 

> which had formerly no such function (which indeed 

H: had no function at all) ; for if we look upon the actual 

'T; f language, ifixen is « or (singular) + the plural end- 

r^l ing -en, and similarly rindtr *> rind (singular) + 

ji the plural ending -er ; only we must not on any 

account imagine that the forms were originally 

;! thus welded tc^ether (agglutinated).^ Compare also 

the history of the English possessive pronouns ; Old 

English min and Jnn keep the n throughout as 

forming part and parcel of the words themselves ; 

but in Middle English the n is dropped first before 

I nouns banning with a consonant \my father — nUne 

\ \ uncle ; it is mini)^ and then before a vowel as well, 

*When "4^ and -#r had become established as plural signs, 
they were added by analogy to words which were not originally 
•-or f-stems, #^., German, hirUn^ wMaUn^ iluUm; wdrUff 
bUchir; Middle English, mums i^y^iMii (Old English, Mr«,^yiiiM; 
Modern English, ctu^u^ Win). Here we might speak of aggluti* 
nation— but not in the sense ofthe welding together of originally 
independent words I 

il V \^ Digitized by VjOOQIC 

primitive: grammar. 69 j . 


but only when the pronouns are used attributively 
{fny father, my uncle — it is fnim). The distinction 
between my and mim^ thy and tkim^ which was 
originally a purely phonetic one, like that between a 
and an^ gradually acquires a functional value, and 
serves to distinguish a conjoint from an absolute^ 
form ; and as the former was the more commonly 
used, it came to be looked upon as the proper 
form, while the n of mim was felt as an ending ! '^ 

serving to indicate the absolute function. That |./ 

this is really the instinctive feeling of the people 
is shown by the fact that in dialectal and vulgar 
speech the ir is added to his^ her ^ your ^ and their ^ to 
form the absolute pronouns htsn^ hem^ youm^ and ; 

tluirti. t 

58. (29) If we apply such considerations to the \ 

forms of primitive Arian speech, we shall be led to [ 

a change of front similar to that made in historic j 

phonology when, instead of the / of the Greek elipon \ 

being considered as the root vowel and the ei of leipo \ 

as a strengthening of /, ei b^an to be taken as the 
original and fuller form, of which 1 was a weakening. 
And where the old school could only imagine language 
taking the most direct course possible we must realise 
the fact that it often takes the ihost unexpected 
round-about ways to reach its goal. It cannot but 
be beneficial always to remember that the signifi- 
cation borne at one time by a word or a word- 
element is very often widely different from the 
original one, and that sometimes an element which 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



had primarily no signification at all may gradually 
acquire a signification of great importance. Many 
endings, may have acquired their special modifying 
force in a way analogous to that seen in the French 
/»x. In the oldest French, m alone is sufficient to 
express the negation ; then it became habitual to 
strengthen the negation by the addition of such 
superfluous words as pas, "a step/' goutte^ "a drop," 
mie, **a crumb,** or the like, just as we say in English, 
'*not a bit, not a scrap". Pas became the most 
common of these expletives ; and little by little it 
grew to be as indispensable in most sentences as the 
$u itself. Nay, now it is even more so, for fas has 
so completely appropriated to itself the n^ative 
meaning as to be used for " not" wherever there is 
no verb in the sentence (Pas de gal) and in the 
colloquial style even with a verb, the word which 
originally carried the negative meaning being en- 
tirely ousted (C'est pas vrail). A similar indirect 
course has been taken by the French jamais. 
' "never,** which now means the exact opposite of 
its etymolc^ical value (Latin jam + magis, " now + 

. 59. (29) Many signs of the times seem to presage 
a change of front in the modem science of language. 
Numerous cases of agglutination formerly accepted 
have been proved by modem criticism to be untenable ; 
nobody now thinks that the Germanic weak preterite 
is a compound of did (loved -love did), or that the r 
of the Latin passive is a disguised se;. and after 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Prof. Sayce's attack ^ it seems no longer possible to 
derive the person-endings of the verbs from personal 
pronouns. There is decidedly a growing disinclination 
to bring forward the kind of explanations by agglutina- 
tion which were formerly so rife : not a few phtlolc^^ts 
carry positivism to the length of rejecting as mere 
metaphysical speculation any attempt at explaining 
the old forms ; and the fresh explanations which are 
now given by the masters of the science of language 
are most of them indirect ones. I shall illustrate 
this by referring briefly to a few important investiga- 
tions of recent date. 

60. (30) The first of these is by the chief of the 
Leipzig school of philology, Karl Brugmann. In 
his paper Das NominalgesdiUcht in den indoger- 
maniscken Sprachen^ ' he puts the question : How 
did it come about that the old Arians attached 
a definite gender (or sex, gischlechi) to words like 
foot, head, house, town, the Greek fous^ for instance, 
being masculine, kephali feminine, oikos masculine, 
and polls feminine ? The generally accepted explana- 
tion, according to which the imagination of mankind 
looked upon lifeless things as living beings, is, Brug- I 

mann says, unsatisfactory; the masculine and feminine \ 

as grammatical genders are merely unmeaning forms fj 

and have nothing to do with the ideas of masculinity 

* The person-endings of the Indo-European verb, in Tech* 
mer*t InUrtuUionaU ZsUschr. /. AUgstH. Sprachwisunukaft^ L, aaa. '] 

* In Techmer*t IntmuUumaU ZdtsekKf. A Ugsm. Sprackwiuen- 
^chaft, iv. (1888), p. 100 ft 


1' i 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 




and femininity ; for even where there exists a natural 

;- ,. ij difference of sex, language often employs only one 

r ^'^|| gender. So in German we have der Aase, die maus^ 

ti; and •'der weibliche hase** is not felt t6 be self-contra* 

:>-{■! dictoiy. Again, in the history of languages we often 

^ ■%] " find words which change their gender exclusively on 

r-! account of their form.^ Nothing accordingly hinders- 

^^J us from supposing that grammatical gender origin- 

\<<i; ally meant something quite different from natural 

'\\ sex. The question, therefore, according to Brug- 

j:' mann, is essentially reduced to this.: How did it 

.. K ; come to pass that the suffix -a was used to designate 

female beings ? At first it had nothing to do with 

^.'^i' femininity, witness the Latin aqua^ " water," etc. ; but 

V among the old words with that ending there happened 

- -^! ^ ^^t t^ be some words denoting females : mama^ ** mother '" 

.; •' 'juCji ? (also with the meaning of •'mother's breast," Latin 

fftamma^ French fnamelU^ and •• aunt,'' German 

muk$He\ and gena^ •• woman" (compare English 

quean^ queen). Now, in the history of some suffixes. 

we see that, without any regard to their original 

etymological signification, they may adopt something: 

of the radical meaning of the words to which they 

are added, and transfer that meaning to new forma- 

ticms. In this way fnama and gena became the 

starting-point for analogical formations, as if the 

>Thu8, in Oerman, many words in -«, such as iraHhe^ ni$n^ 
wmde^ which were formerly masculine, now have become 
feminine, because the great majority of nouns in -# were 
feminine {erde^ skUffiirbi^ etc.). 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


idea of female was denoted by the ending, and new 
words were formed, e^., Latin dea^ ^ goddess," from 
deus^ " god " ; equa^ " marc/* from tquus^ •• horse," etc 
Other sufHxes probably came to denote ''feminine 
sex " by a similar process. 

61. (30) On account of the nature of the subject, 
Brugmann's investigation is more convincing in its 
negative criticism than in its positive conclusions. 
It must decidedly be greeted as a wholesome change 
that he does away with such explanations as those 
above mentioned, according to which the a in eqtta^ 
etc., was a pronoun or a phonetic modification signify- 
ing the feminine quality, and having signified this 
from the very beginning. The division of Arian 
nouns into three genders, and the concord which is | 
a consequence of that division (adjectives, etc., being 
made to agree with their nouns in gender), is, in 
fact, nothing but a class division analogous to that of 
the Zulu language described above. The analogy 
will be still more striking if we compare Arian, 
not with Zulu, but with the neighbouring, but 
totally unconnected, Hottentot language, for there 
a class division has been employed to distinguish 
natural sex which had nothing to do with sex 

62. (31) The second instance of the beginning 
tendency towards indirect explanations of grammati- 
cal phenomena which I shall quote, is the important 
and learned book by the Berlin Professor Johannes 

^ Bleek, Comp^raiivs Grmmmar^ ii., 118-132, 292-399. 

■Digitized by LjOOQ IC 





Schmidt: Die Pluralbildungim dtr indogernutni- 
schm Niutra (Weimar, 1889). In this work Schmidt 
conclusively proves what before him some scholars 
had suspected,^ namely, that the common Arian plural 
in -a was originally neither neuter nor plural, but, on 
the contrary, feminine and singular. The forms in -if 
are properly collective formations like those found, 
for instance, in Latin, opera^ sr *^ work," comp. opusy 
••(a piece of) work**; Latin, tirra^ '•earth," comp. Oscan, 
ierum^ •* plot of ground " ; pugna^ " boxing, fight,** 
comp. pugnusy ** fist ". This explains among other 
things the peculiar syntactic phenomenon, which is 
found rq^larly in Greek and sporadically in the 
Asiatic branch of the Arian family, that a neuter 
plural subject takes the verb in the singular. The 
Greek foxa is often used in speaking of a single bow ; 
and the Latin poetic use of gutturoy coUc^ ora^ where 
only one person's throat, neck, or face is meant, 
points similarly to a period of the past when these 
words did not denote the plural. We can now also 
see the reason of this -tf being in some cases the 
plural sign of masculine nouns : LaL, loca from 
locus ^joca from jocus^ etc. ; Gn, sita from sites. Joh. 

* See Bnigmann, Grundrisji^ iL, 68a, second footnote, where 
he might alto have mentioned P. A. March, who tayt (Anglo- 
Soxom Qrom.^ 1877, p. 56) : *« We take inanimate things in the 
lump; hence neuters tend to use no plural sign, or to use an 
ending like the feminine singular, as an abstract or collective 
form: Greek, Latin, wi, Anglo-Saxon •», etc. Latin neuters 
plural frequently become feminine singular in the Romance 
languages; Greek neuters plural take a singular verb.** 

Digitized by VjOOQIC, ^ ■ 



Schmidt refers to similar plural formations in Arabic ; 
and we may call to mind our friends the Bantus, 
whose plural prefixes were, as we have seen, origin- 
ally no more signs of plurality than the Arian 
-a. And thus we are constantly reminded that lan- 
guage must often make the most curious ditaurs to 
arrive at a grammatical expression for things which 
appear to us so self-evident as the difference be- 
tween he and she^ or that between one and more. 
Simplicity in linguistic structure — ^that is, expres- 
sive simplicity — is not a primitive, but a derived 

63. (32) Comparative philology did not attain a 
scientific character till Rask and BOPP established 
the principle that the relationship of two languages 
had to be determined by a thorough-going con- 
formity in the most necessary parts of language, 
namely, besides suffixes and similar elements in- 
capable of independent existence, pronouns and 
numerals, and the most indispensable of nouns and 
verbs. But if this domain of speech, by preserving 
religiously, as it were, the old tradition, affords in- 
fallible criteria of the near or remote relationship of 
different languages, may we. not reasonably expect 
to find in the same domain some clue to the oldest 
grammatical system used by our ancestors? And 
what sort of system do we then find there? We see 
such a declension as /, ine^ av, us : the several forms of 
the " paradigm " do not at all resemble each other, 
as they do in more recently developed declensions ; 

Digitized by VjOO^LC 




we find masculines and feminines such as fatlier^ 
Mwther; tnan^ wife; bull, cow; while such methods of 
derivation as are seen in county countess; he-bear, she- 
bear, belong to a later time; we' meet with verbal 
flexion such as appears in am, is, was, been, which 
forms a striking contrast to the more modem method 
of adding a mere ending while leaving the body of 
the word unchanged. 

64. (33) The general impression left by these and 
many similar instances is, that the grammatical 
system of our remote ancestors was, to say the least 
of it, very unsystematic and far from simple. Things 
which belong, or to us would seem to belong, closely 
together, were widely sundered as r^ards their 
linguistic expression. And it is only by a slow and 
gradual development that conformity and r^^larity 
are brought about, especially in those words which 
are in most constant use. The rarer a word is, the 
I more difficult it is to remember its several forms 
: unless they resemble one another ; accordingly, rare 
i I words are more exposed to being accommodated on 
' the spur of the moment to the most r^;ular patterns 
of inflexion. These r^fular patterns being more 
present to the speaker's mind, he pays no r^ard to 
the fact that the word in question ~ ought properly to 
be irregular *\ Nor is it the rarer words alone which 
are reduced to rule : even in the case of the more 
frequently recurring words the levelling influences 
are at work ; a greater and greater number of cases 
will run together, and irregularities will gradually 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


disappear. Those little words which are used every 
minute, pronouns and so on, are uttered and heard so | j. 

very often that their forms acquire an extreme power ^ j 

of resistance. And yet, even in these words we* 
observe the great work of simplification going on. ) 

Let us take one of the clearest instances of all. The 
flexion of the second personal pronoun, which was > i 

universal in English some four hundred years ago, 
namely, nominative singular /^n, accusative singular 
J/ue, nominative plural ye, accusative plural /ou, !| 

has now in ordinary conversational and prose 
language given place to perfect simplicity and uni- 
formity: nominative singular ^1^, accusative singular 
J0U, nominative plural you, accusative plural you. 
But if we look closer into the history of this im- 
portant change, which will form the subject of a sub- 
sequent chapter, we shall see that a great many most 
widely different circumstances (phonetic, syntactic, 
and social) have concurred to produce so complete a 

66. (33) To turn to the case of nouns, we cannot 
imagine even in the most primitive grammar such 
violent flexional changes as that seen in /, me, where 
a totally different root is needed Nevertheless, we 
find in the oldest Arian languages plenty of compara- 
tive violent changes taking place in the declensions, 
as when different cases of the same noun have (: 

different accentuation and different gradation (ablaut) ; 
or as when in some of the most frequently occurring ; ! 

words some cases are formed from one ** stem ** and ' 

i »1 



I- 1 

> I 

; . ' 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


Others from another. Thus in the common Arian 
word for " water,** Greek has preserved both stems : 
nominative huddr^ genitive hudai-os^ where a stands 
for an original n or (9)n which appears in some of 
the other related languages. Whatever the origin of 
this change of stems/ it is a phenomenon belonging 
only to the earlier stages of our languages ; ' in the 
later stages we always find a simplification, one 
single form running through all cases ; this is either 
the nominative stem, as in English water^ German 
wassir (corresponding to Greek huddr\ or the oblique 
case-stem, as in the Scandinavian forms, Old Norse 
f%7/ii, Swedish vatten^ Danish vand (corresponding to 
Greek /mdai-), or finally a contaminated form, as in 
the name of the Swedish lake V&item (Noreen's 
explanation) or in Old Norse and Danish skam^ 
^ dirti'' which has its r from a form like the Greek 
stdTf and its n from a form like the Greek genitive 
siatos (older sk9ntos). The simplification is carried 
furthest in English, where the identical form water is 
not only used unchanged where in the older languages 
different case-forms of the noun would have been 
used (the water is cold ; he drinks water ; the surface 

' See now Holger Pederten, r-n-stimme, in Kuhn*tZMiscAr.» 

*In these we sometimet find an alternation between the 
-r stem in the nominative and a blending of both ttemt in the 
other cases ; thus in Latin/roir, '< liver,* V^^'^ms ; iUr^ ^ voyage,*' 
iiiti^; instead oi Jicur^jieinii^ iUr-^Hnii; of. /rrnur, thighs 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


of the water ; he fell into the water ; he swims in 
the water), but also where it serves as a verb (did 
you water the flowers?) or as a quasi-adjective (a 
water melon, water plants). We see here an approach 
to the Chinese type of speech which we shall glance at 
in the next chapter. 




Digitized byVjOOQlC 



06. (34) In Chinese each word consists of one 

) syllable, neither more nor less. The parts of speech 

[ are not dbtinguished : td means, according to circum- 

; ^ stances, great, much, magnitude, enlarge. Gram- 

; matical relations such as number, person, tense, 

i ' case^ etc., are not expressed by endings and similar 

expedients; the word in itself is invariable. If a 

noun is to be taken as plural, this as a rule must be 

} gathered from the context ; and it is only when there 

( is any danger of misunderstanding, or when the 

\ notion of plurality is to be emphasised, that separate 

] words are added, /^., il^ "some," H, "number".* 

i The most important part of Chinese grammar is that 

\ dealing with word-order: td kuok^m** gttaX state," or 

* great states ** ; but kuoi td means "* the state is great," 

\ or, if placed before some other word which can serve 

V as a verb, • the greatness (sire) of the state " ; *^ niti' 

^ •'boys and girls," but niu'' tst^ " girl " (female child), 

,; etc* Besides tvords properly so called, or, as the 

i Chinese grammarians term them, " full words," there 

> Oabelents, C hi t m it e k s Grammatikt x88x, ( 1054 ^9« 
^ibtd^AnfimgtgrimUd. Chim, Qr.^ 1883, (ag., 

%it^ycf^ ' y ' GUU^Il 


^OabtlenU in Techmer*8 InUnmU Z$Uukrifi^ L, 376-7. 



are several " empty words " serving for grammatical ^ ^ 

purposes, often in a wonderfully clever and ingenious \ 

way. Thus 2f^ has besides other functions that of ^ 

indicating a genitive relation more distinctly than it \ if 

would be indicated by the mere position of the words ; 
mtn (people) lii (power) is of itself sufficient to signify 
^' the power of the people/' but the same notion is 
expressed more explicitly by mtn li lik. The same 
expedient is used to indicate different sorts of con- 
nexion ; if S is placed after the subject of a sentence 
it makes it a genitive, thereby changing the sentence i 

into a sort of subordinate clause : wAng pah min « | 

^' the king protects the people *' ; but if you say wdn/f 
ilpad mtn ykA (is like)/f{ (father) lipah ts\, the whole 
may be rendered, by means of the English verbal Y 

noun, *the king's protecting the people is like the ! 

father's protecting his child "• Further, it is possible | 

to change a whole sentence into a genitive ; for 
instance, wdngpah min ii tad (manner) Jt*d (can) iUn 
(see, be seen), ** the manner in which the king protects 
(the manner of the king's protecting) his people is to 
be seen " ; and in yet other positions ii can be used 
to join a word-group consisting of subject and verb, 
or of verb and object, as an attribute to a noun ; wc 
have participles to express the same modification of 
the idea : wdng pad 2i mtn, ** the people protected 
by the king " ; pad nAn If wAng, ** a king protecting 
the people". Observe here the ingenious method 
of distinguishing the active and passive voices by 

r ' 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 

• *• t 


Strictly adhering to the natural order and placing the 
subject before and the object after the verb. If we 
put I before, and JU after, a single word, it means '* on 
account of, because of** (cf. English y&r-. . . 's sake) ; if 
we place a whole sentence between these " brackets '* 
as we might term them, they area sort of conjunction^ 
and must be translated ''because**. 

67. (35) These few examples will give the reader 
some faint idea of the language of the Celestial 
Empire ; and, if the older generations of scholars are 
to be trusted, we have to picture Jto ourselvej the 
primeval structure of our own language (in the root- 
period) as something analogous. Thus Schleicher^ 
says: ''The structure of all tongues indicates that 
their oldest form was essentially identical with that 
which has been kept unchanged in some languages 
of the very simplest structure (^^., Chinese) ". Similar 
utterances might be adduced from the writings of 
Max MUller, Whitney, etc. ; and the same view is 
also held by the renowned Chinese scholar J. Edkins, 
in his book on Tfu EvolutioH of the Chinese Language 
(1888), from the preface of which I quote the follow- 
ing : " Chinese remains possessed of a primitive 
order of words, and a monosyllabic structure. These 
peculiarities give it a claim to be a direct descendant 
of the mother-tongue of humanity, but it is not itself 
that mother-tongue • . . there is no other language, 
or family of languages, which can be more reasonably 
assumed to be the speech first used in the world's 
grey morning than can the Chinese.** 

. ' DU Dmrwimtehe Tkeoriif p. sx. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 









• ) 



. \ 



68. (36) However, difleient considerations have 
tended to shake this faith in the primitiveness of the 
Chinese language. As early as 1861, R. Lepsius, 
from a comparison of Chinese and Tibetan, had 
derived the conviction that '' the monosyllabic char- ^ < 

sicter of Chinese is not original, but is a lapse from I 

an earlier polysyllabic structure *•. And Mr. Edkins, ^-^ 

whose identification of Chinese with "the speech 
first used in the world's grey morning " I just now i''^ 

quoted, has been among the foremost to examine [* 

the evidence offered by the language itself for the ^ 

determination of its earlier pronunciation. This, of T 

course, is a much more complicated problem in 
Chinese than in our alphabetically-written languages ; 
for a Chinese character, standing for a complete 1 

word, may remain unchanged while the pronuncia- 
tion is changed indefinitely. But by means of dialec- 
tal pronunciations in our own day, of remarks on 
pronunciation in old Chinese dictionaries, of transcrip- 
tions of Sanskrit words made by Chinese Buddhists, 
of rhymes in ancient poetry, of phonetic or partly 
phonetic elements in the word-characters, etc, etc,* 
it has been possible to demonstrate — with compara- 
tive certainty on the whole, though undoubtedly 
with no small uncertainty in many particulars — ^that 
Chinese pronunciation has changed considerably, and 
that: the direction of change has been, here as else- 
where, towards shorter and easier word-forms. Above 
all, consonant groups have been simplified. 
* Oabelents, GrMmmatik^ pp.. 90-1 1 1. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

r i 


69. (36) It is not impossible, as I think, that 
certain pecuh'arities in the living pronunciation of 
Chinese might, if correctly interpreted, lead us to 
the same conclusion. I refer to the change some- 
__ times wrought in the meaning of a word by the adop- 
tion of a diffeient musical tone.^ Thus wang' with 
the " lower even " tone means " king,*' in the ** depart- 
ing " tone it means " to become king " ; lao, accord- 
ing to the tone in which it is spoken, is either ''work ** 
or ••pay the work " ; isun^ with the •* lower even " tone 
means ** follow,** with the ** departing'! tone it means 
•• follower," and with the " upper even ** tone " foot- 
steps *•; Aad is "good,** and Aao is "love**. Nay, 
meanings so different as ~ acquire** and '*give'* (sAeu) 
or ** buy** and ** sell ** (mat) are only distinguished by 
the musical accents.* 

Edkins makes an attempt to account for such 
changes, which I must confess I am not entirely able 
to follow; pointing with the $and seems to play 
some part in it, and then, ** the wordmaker wanted 
the words * to love * and * to sell,' and he formed them 
out of * good' and 'buy' by adding an intonation 
existing in his environment". Similarly, though 
with much greater clearness, V. Henry says : *' Is 
not the process transparent ? In primitive language, 

' For a clear account of the true nature of the Chinese tones 
by a competent phonetician, see J. Storm, EngUsck$ Phihlogic^ 
ste autgabe, 189a, pp. 313-3x4, 479-43x. 

*The axamplet taken fnom Oabelents, Gratitm*^ § 350^ and 
Irom Bdkint, he. dLf pp. 7f 40^ 53* 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

* L# MusioH, i^ p. 435 (Loavain, i88a) ; c£ P. Pamj, Change- 
} mnUs PhonUiquit, p. 107. 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 



in order to say * I love/ one would say hao^ * this is t 

good (for me)/ accompanying this syllable with a ^ jr 
gesture to take the place of the words that were 
understood; this gesture influenced the accent or ^ 

tone of the syllable. . . . Further, we have in Chinese 
mdi (to sell) and mii (to buy). • . . This double ^* 

form seems to relate the history of exchange between 
men, as we find it in all works treating of political 
economy : unaccented tnai probably denoted the nidi- * 

mentary bargain or truck ; but as this term had in I ' 

each particular case to be exactly defined, the party r 

saying mat (I acquire) would accompany the syllable J! 

with a centripetal gesture to indicate that the object i. 

came to him, and the other party who said ma$ (I 
cede) would naturally make the opposite gesture. 
The eflect of this mimicry has been a divergent modi- 
fication of the sound of the root •'.* Even granting 
the possibility of the gesticulation afiecting the tone of 
the voice in the two cases, — ^which does not, however, 
seem quite beyond question, — this explanation pre- 
sents some serious difficulties; for what if the speaker 
wanted to say ••you buy"? Then the theory would 
make us expect the same gesture (and therefore the 
same tone) as in " I sell," contrary to the actual fact 
And one does not see which gesture and which tone 
would have to be chosen to express the notion, " he 
sells to her," if both the persons spoken of were 
absent at the time. Or are we to suppose that men f f 



i :* 
1 • ( 

' i I 



at some remote period spoke only in the first person 
singular? Besides, the theory only assists us in the 
case of a very few pairs of words, and leaves us 
entirely in the dark about some of the above ex- 
amples and numerous others. We must, therefore, 
be excused for looking about for another explanation ; 
and I think I am able to suggest one. In the 
Danish dialect spoken in Sundeved (in Prussian 
South Jutland) two purely musical tones are dis- 
tinguisl^, one high and the other low. Now these 
tones often serve to keep words or forms of words 
apgirt that would be perfect homonyms but for the 
accent, exactly as in Chinese. Thus na with the low 
tone is ^ fool,** but with the high tone it is either the 
I plural ^ fools " or else a verb '' to cheat, hoax " ; ri, 

, j j ! ** ride,** is imperative or infinitive according to the 

n j I tone in which it is spoken ; Jem in the low tone is 

* : j 1 ^ home,*" and in the high ** at home " ; and so on in a 

I j I great many words.^ Now, in this language we need 
[ i i I . not go to gestures to explain the origin of these 

; ,| ; tonic differences, for the explanation is obvious to 

;! < anybody familiar with the hbtory of Scandinavian 

' I : j languages. The low tone is found in words origin- 

< j t ' One of the forthcoming numbers of DanU, Tidukrift for 

I; ; PoUumaml og Folk4mind4r^ will, I hope, contain a detailed 

j! I account of theae tonic accent* which have hitherto escaped 

\\ I notice; I have heard them in the pronunciation of Mr. N. 

I ; < ' Andersen, a native of Sundeved, who had of his own accord 

j ; j made comprehensive lists of homonyms distinguished by tones, 

I without knowing anything of the existence and nature of 
nmilar tones in Scandinavian or other languages. 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


ally monosyllabic (compare standard Danish nar, 
rid, Ajem), and the high one in words originally dis- 
syllabic (compare Danish f$arre, ride, hjetnnu). The 
tones belonging formerly to two syllables are now 
condensed on one syllable (originally, I suppose, in 
the form of a circumflex or compound tone).^ 

Although, of course, the Chinese tonic differences 
cannot in every respect be paralleled with those 
found in the Scandinavian languages, I see no reason 
why we should not set forth the provisional hypothesis 
that the above-mentioned pairs of Chinese words 
were formerly distinguished by derivative syllables or 
flexional endings and the like, which have now dis- 
appeared, without leaving any traces behind them 
except in the tones. This hypothesis is perhaps 
rendered more probable by what seems to be an 
established fact — that one of the five tones, at least in 

'Compare Norwegian hm, "prayer,** with the ^simple'* 
tone, hbnntf, Old Norse 6^'fi»r, *' prayers,** with the " compound '* 
tone, while bdn$ur (boiuUr), "peasants,** has the simple tone of 
original monosyllables ; of. Old Norse h^^ndr. The same differ- 
ence is made in Norwegian between bund-en, ''the bottom,''and 
•bundcn (similarly in Swedish^ ** bound ".In standard Danish, the 
corresponding distinction is made by means of the glottal stop; 
thus, in everyday pronunciation, the only difference between the 
singular "day "and the plural "days" consists in the former 
having and the latter not having the stop or " st^d,'* both forms 
being now monosyllabic da^ whereas the literary language and 
'''refined** pronunciation keeps up the old distinction between* 
monosyllabic dag and dissyllabic dags. For an account of 
Scandinavian musical tones, see Storm, Engl. PhiiologUt and 
ed., pp. 230, 347, 509, 327, and the works quoted there. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





the Nan-king pronundationi has arisen through the 
dropping of final consonants (p, t, k). 

70. (37) However this may be, the death-blow 
was given to the dogma of the primitiveness of 
/ Chinese speech by Ernst Kuhn's lecture Ueder 

Herkunft und Spraclu der Transgangetiscken V^lker 
(Munich, 1883). He compares Chinese with the 
surrounding languages of Tibet Burmah, and Siam^ 
which are certainly related to Chinese, and have 
essentially the same structure ; they are isolating, 
have no flexion, and word-order is their chief gram- 
matical instrument But the laws of word-position 
, prove to be different in these several languages, and 
Kuhn draws the incontrovertible conclusion that it is 
impossible that any one of these laws of word-position 
should have been the original one ; for that would 
imply that the other races have changed it without 
the least reason and at a risk of terrible confusipn» 
The only likely explanation is that these diflerences 
are the outcome of a former state of greater freedom. 
But if the ancestral speech had a free word-order, to 
be at all intelligible it must have been possessed of 
other grammatical appliances than are now found in 
the derived tongues ; in other words, it must have 
indicated the relations of words to each other by 
something like or corresponding to our derivatives 
or inflexions. 

71. (38) To the result thus established by Kuhn^ 
that Chinese cannot have had a fixed word-order 
from the beginning, we seem also to be led if we 

Digitized byCjQOQlC 


■ ' t 

fully and thoroughly consider the question, what is a ;' 

fixed word-order? And is primitive man likely to h 

have arranged his words according to such fixed iV 

order? A Chinese sentence is arranged with the ^^i 

same logical precision as the direction of an English ' ' ] 

letter, where the most specific word is placed first, i> 

and each subsequent word is like a box comprising y- 

all that precede : Miss-Emily-Brown-23-High-Street- 
Brighton-Sussex-England. The only difference is i'\ 

that a Chinaman would reverse the order, beginning ^ 

with the most general word and then in due order 
specialising.^ The logical consistency in both cases t^] 

is the same. 

Now, is it probable that primitive man, that un- 
kempt, savage being, still half brute, who did not 
yet deserve the proud generic name of Acmo sapUns^ 
but would be better termed, if not fiomo insipiens^zt 
best homo incipiem^ is it probable that this umunsch^ 
who was little better than an untnensch^ should have 
been able at once to arrange his words, or, what 
amounts here to the same thing, his thoughts, in such 
a perfect order? I should prefer to suppose that 
logical, methodical, orderly thinking and speaking 
have only been attained by mankind after a long and 
troublesome struggle. And above all an exact order 
of words as a grammatically significant element of 
speech is what we should, least of all, look for in the 
case of primitive man, whose thoughts and words 
are most likely to have come to him rushing helter- 

^ Oabelenti, DU SpntchwisunMck.^ 426. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





'1 ^1 

skelter in wild confusion. Nay, " a fixed word-order *' 
is without doubt to be considered the highest, finest, 
and accordingly latest developed expedient of speech 
to which man has attained. The rules of word- 
position have'too long been the Cinderella of linguistic 
science — how many even of the best grammars are 
wholly or almost wholly silent about them I Thus, 
with n^rd to the Bantu languages it was only from 
a short remark made incidentally by Bleek (ii., io8) 
that I got a little bit of information, which was, how- 
ever, of the greatest importance to me, namely, that 
these languages do not make use of a fixed word-order 
to indicate changes of meaning. Not a word was to be 
found on this point in the rest of my authorities. 
And although in English a change of word-order 
will in many cases completely alter the meaning of 
the proposition, this subject is, in many grammars, 
treated very inadequately, if at all. Yet there is no 
denying that the theory of word-order, of its import- 
ance, and of the mutual relation between this and 
other grammatical expedients, offers a great many 
problems to the thoughtful student of language. 

72. (39) To take one of these problems : What is 
the reason of the prevalence of the word-order — sub- 
ject-verb-object — in English, Danish, French, Chinese, 
to mention only a very small number of languages ? 
The fact of *' that heathen Chinee" using the same 
order as ourselves precludes the supposition, often 
resorted to in such cases, that one of the European 
nations has borrowed the usage from one of the others^ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



and shows the phenomenon to be founded in the very f' 

nature of human thought, though its non-prevalence ^ 

in most of the older Arian languages goes far to 
show that this particular order is only natural to 
developed human thought .V 

Again, a question is commonly indicated by an 
inversion of the usual order of words, as when ^ 

we say : " Has John got his hat ? ** — did ever any 
philological writer examine the rise of this inter- |:' 

rogatory form in those languages where it is found, j 

and the extension of its use? Originally, in all tlie ! 

old Germanic tongues as well as in Latin, etc, in- T 

version was very often used without any interrogatory ] ; 

sense being denoted by it ; and traces of* this state 
of things are still to be found, especially when tlie 
verb is not the first word of the sentence (" About 
this time died the gentle Queen Elizabeth "), and in 
parenthetic sentences ("*Oh, yes,' said he"). In 
German, especially in the ballad style, it is still pos- 
sible to begin a sentence with the verb : " Kam ein* 
^blanker bursch gegangen ". But it is well worth 
noticing that in Gennan, as well as in the other 
modem languages of Western Europe, such an 
arrangement is generally avoided, so that in those 
cases where the speaker wants to give a prominent 
place to the verbal idea by putting it before the 
^subject proper, he will, so to speak, satisfy his 
grammatical instincts by putting a kind of sham 
subject before the verb; English speakers will use 
^^re; Danes, der; in German €s is used ; in French, 

1 1 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


'J ' 

i/; in Swedish, dei: ^^t/un comes a time when . • ./^ 
**iUr iommertn tid, da • . •/' **es kommt eine zeit 
wo . . V' **il arrive un temps od . . .," '* det kompner 
en tiddaaV 

The inverted word-order, then, was not originally 
peculiar to interrogatory sentences ; a question was 
expressed, no matter how the words were arranged, 
by pronouncing the whole sentence, or the most 
important part of it, in the peculiar interrogatory 
rising tone. This manner of indicating questions is,. 
of course, still kept up in our modern speech, and 
it is often the only thing to show that the words 
are to be taken as a question (*' John ? " ** John is 
here?*^. But although there was thus a natural 
manner of expressing questions, and although the 
inverted word -order was used in other sorts of 
sentences as well, yet in course of time there came 
to be a connexion between these two things, so that 
putting the verb before the subject came to mean a 
question and to be felt as implying a question. The 
proof of this is that that rising of the tone which is 
natural to questions is far less marked in an inverted 
sentence like ** Is John here?** than if you ask the 
question by means of the sentence ** John is here ? *' 
the word-order leading you to expect a question in 

' Note that in English ilun serves at an accusative in such 
sentences as ** Let there be no discussion about that'* ; com* 
pare ** Let us discuss,** etc, Shakespeare, Cymbtlim^ iL, 4, 108,. 
** Let there be no honour where there is beauty" | Trollops,. 
Dmk0*$ Ckf 1*9 95* **! cannot let there be an end to it **• 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

• /; 


the former case and a statement in the latter. This !- 

obliteration of the interrogatory tone is especially (c 

«asy to see in the pronunciation of indirect questions f^ 

in the form of direct ones, such as (Dickens, David U 

CopptrjUld, ii., 384) '* Dora asked me would I let her < 

give me all her money to keep " | (George Eliot, MiU J. 

<m the Floss, i., 252) ^* he had meant to imply would 
site love as well in spite of his deformity ". ; 

78. (39) Now, after this method of indicating |; 

questions had become comparatively fixed, and after 
the habit of thinking first of the subject had become i' 

all but universal, these two principles entered into a h 

conflict, the result of which, in three of the languages y - 

here specially dealt with, has been in many cases a 
compromise, the interrogatory word-order carrying 
the day formally, while really the verb, that is to say, 
the verb which means something, is placed after its 
subject. In English, this is attained by means of the 
auxiliary do: instead of Shakespeare's *^ Came he not 
home to-night?" {Romeo, 1045), we now say, *Did^ 
he not, or Didn't he, come home to-night ?" and so in 
all cases where a similar arrangement is not already 
brought about by the presence of some other 
auxiliary, "Will he come?" "May he come?" 
etc^ In Danish, the verb fpum, used in the old 

\t 18 often used where an adverb is 
a sentence, by no author, perhaps, 
e; I note from comparatively few 
18 did the editor see himself *' (where . 
ears ago would have written, " Thus 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


t, : 

language to indicate a vague futurity, fulfils to a 
; certain extent the office of the English do; up to 

some two hundred years ago man was really an 
auxiliary verb, followed by the infinitive : **Moh nogle 
' miles faerd Vel vare saadan larm og saadan fare vaerd ? '^ 
i (Holberg) ; but now the construction has changed, the 

indicative is used with fpum^ as in ^ Mon den gudinde er^ 
der plages saa af galde ?" (iiid.), and mon must be con- 
sidered no longer a verb but an interrogatory adverb ; 
"Mon han kommer?" differs .from** Kommer han?'^ 
! in being more indefinite and vague :-*' Will he come^ 

do you think P"^ 
i* ^ 74. (39) French, finally, has developed no less 

I than two forms of compromise between the conflicting 

j , principles, for in " Est-ce que Pierre bat Jean ? '' 

; ! €st'€i represents the interrogatory and Pierre bat the 

\\ usual word-order, and in *• Pierre bat-il Jean?" the 

!» real subject is placed before, and the sham subject 

i : U after the verlx Here also, as in Danish, the ulti- 

I mate result is the development of ** empty words '* ; 

\\ ' . est*u que is in pronunciation, if not in spelling, 
1 one inseparable whole, a sentence prefix to introduce 

! ' questions ; and in popular speech we find another 

empty word, namely /i. The origin of this ii is very 
{ j curious. While the / of Latin amat^ etc., coming 

■aw an editor himself*) | ** So had it lasted for some months ** | 
I i ^ Well do we recollect the last words ** | *• Thus does the good 

I I ' Homernot only nod, but snore** | ** Thus is the Law of Progress 

' ' secured ** | ** In such wise does Teufelsdreck deal hits,'* etc. 

I ; 'On mom see my note in iXuiM, i^ 1890^ pp. 79*8a 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



after a vowel, disappeared at a very early period of 

the French language, and so produced il aime, etc., I 

the same / was kept in Old French, wherever a 

consonant protected it, and so gave the forms esi, sont^ X| 

fait (fromySw/, for facif),fofU, chantent, dtantait, etc, ** 

From estMt fait'il, etc., the / was then by analogy .v 

re-introduced in aime-tM^ instead of the earlier <z/W 

il. Now, towards the end of the Middle Ages, 

French final consonants were as a rule dropped in '}}, 

speech, except when followed immediately by a word j 1 

beginning with a vowel ("liaison"); in spelling, the ." 

old consonants were generally retained. Consequently, { \ 

while / is mute in sentences like " Ton frfere diC " tes 

fr^res dtsent'' it is sounded in the corresponding 

questions, "Ton frbre dii-il?** " Tes frferes disenU 

ils ? '* As the /, /r, of il and ils in these connexions 

is generally dropped, even by educated speakers, the 

diflerence between interrogatory and declarative 

sentences in the spoken language will be seen to 

depend solely on the addition of ti to the verbh 

written phonetically, the pairs will be : — 

t5 frer di — td frcY di ti 

t€ fre'r di'z — te fre'r di*z ti. 
Now, popular instinct seizes upon this // as a con- 
venient sign of interrogative sentences, and turns 
- Ta soeur di(t) "" into « Ta soeur di ti ? " plural, " Tes 
sceurs dise tiP^etc Even in the first person it is 
used: -je di ti?" «*nous dison ti?" etc Where 
popular language is reproduced in writing, in the 
comic papers, novels, and the like, you will often 

'I :'• 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


find this interrogative particle spelt as if the adverb j^ 
formed part of it : ** c'est-y pas vrai ? " ** je suis t^y 
b£te I *" etc In Daudet's LlmmorUl^ p. 308, a child 
asks, ** Dites» c'est-y vous le monsieur de TAcad^mie 
qui va avoir cent ans ? " ^ 

These remarks will, I hope, show the interest of 
many problems connected with the history of word- 
position, and also throw a little light on some of 
those strange ways by which languages must often 
travel to arrive at new grammatical categories and 
new forms of expression. 

75. (40) I now pass to two questions of the 
greatest importance to the main subject of this book. 
First, What is the relation between freedom in word- 
position and a complicated system of inflexions? 
How is it that in historical times simplification of 
grammar always goes hand in hand with the de- 
velopment of a fixed word-order ? Is this accidental, 
and is there no connexion between the two pheno- 
mena? Or, is there a relation of cause and effect 
between them ? 

I dare say most readers, after bestowing some 
little thought on the question, will agree in answer- 
ing the last question in the affirmative, and in seeing 
that a fixed word-order is the prius^ or cause, and 

' Cf. my paper, Ttmk of M parUi$h$ vulgarsprogs gratmiuUikt 
in the Tranaacttont of the Philol. Society of Copenhagen, June 
4, 1885, and O. Paris {RomMtm^ vi., 438), who thinks it 
probable that this It will toon find iU way into standard 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




grammatical simplification, the posUrius^ or efTect 
It is. however, by no means rare to find underlying, 
in a more or less latent way, people's notions of these 
things, the theory that the inflexional endings were 
first lost "by phonetic decay/' or "by the blind op- .■ 

eratton of sound laws/' and then a fixed word-order 
had to step in to make up for the loss of the previous *. 

forms of expression. But if this were true, we should 
have to imagine an intervening period in which the 
mutual relations of words were indicated in neither 
way; a period, in fact, in which speech would be . ^ 

unintelligible and consequently practically useless. \ 

'i'he theory in question is therefore untenable. It 
follows that the fixed word-order must have come in 

gradually as a natural 
^ntal development anH 
speaker's ideas no longer 
-skelter but in orderly 
iblishment of some sort 
mdency to slur certain 
liad manifested itself, it 
I universal, as it would 
ed by the necessity that 
le, and therefore those 
the several words be- 
>bliterated. But when 
t the exact spot where 
ere was no longer any- \ \ 

ng weakened by assimila- 
y dropped altogether. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

f ! 





16. (40) To bring out my view, I have been obliged 
in the preceding paragraph to use expressions that 
must not be taken too literally; I have spoken as 
if the changes referred to were made '* in the lump/* 
that is, as if the word-order was first settled in every 
respect, and after that the endings began, to be 
dropped. The real facts are, of course, much more 
complicated, changes of the one kind being inter- 
j woven with changes of the other in such a way as to 

I render it difficult, if not impossible, in any particular 

- case to discover which was/nkr and which posterius. 

\ We are not able to lay a finger on one spot and say : 

I / Here final m or n was dropped, because it was now 

; rendered superfluous as a case-sign on account of the 

1, accusative being invariably placed after the verb, or 

I for some other such reason. But, nevertheless, the 

J essential truth of my hypothesis seems to me unim- 

peachable. Look at Latin final s. Cicero {prat 
48, 161) expressly tells us— and a good many in- 
scriptions corroborate his words ^ — that there existed 
! . a strong tendency to drop final s\ but the tendency 

did not prevail. The reason seems obvious ; try the 
I effect in a page of Latin prose of striking out all 

; final /es, and you will find that it will be extremely 

difficult to determine the meaning of many passages ; 
a consonant playing so important a part in the end- 
ings of nouns and verbs could not be left out without 
loss in a language possessing so much freedom in 

* See CoTMeiH Au$$prMh4f sk.^ d$$ IaU., and edit, L, p. 285 ; 
Schuchardt, VokM i i s m us d$$ VulgSfki., ii., pp. 45, 169, 389. 

Digitized byCjOOQlC 


jard to word-position as Latin. Consequently, it 
IS kept ; but in course of time word-position he- 
me more and more subject to laws; and when, 
ituries later, after the splitting up of Latin into the 
►mance languages, the tendency to slur over final 
nocked once more at the door, it met no longer 
h the same resistance as before; final s disap- 
ired, first in Italian and Roumanian, then in 
jnch. In French the disappearance took place 
rards the end of the Middle Ages, and some cases ^^ 
survival are still found in actual pronunciation ;''>J-v^q^.^\ 
Spanish, final s is just now, at the end of the ' I] 

steenth century, beginning to sound a retreat. l\ 

7. (42) The answer to the second question hinted I • : 

n § 75 cannot now be doubtful. The question is ' 

: Is it beneficial to a language to have a free word- 
ier hand, is the transition 
trictness in this respect to 


l-position to the master of 
everybody; but what style 
(leral laws of language are 
Her says : — 

nan an dem, waser ausApricht * 1 

i mir den meister des stils,* * ^ '. 

the palm to that language ] I 

o be wisely silent " about | i" 

lages have to be expressed -^ ' 

>wn by what he says, but the j) V 

Bcly silent on. - ^ ^ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

•? ■r':, 




t ;i ^— -——-—-— --—-^--—^— -—-—-— ——---^——— ————— ———^^—^— ^^—. 

;! by clumsy and troublesome means, and which have 

often to be expressed over and over again {Multorum 

'1 virorum antiquorum). Could any linguistic expedient 

'I be more worthy of the genus Aofno sapiens than 

I using for different purposes, with different significa- 

!j tions, two sentences like "John beats Henry** and 

; jj •* Henry beats John/' or the four Danish ones ** Jens 

; , j slaar Henrik— Henrik slaar Jens — ^slaar Jens Henrik ? 

— ^slaar Henrik Jens?" (John beats Henry — Henry 

beats J.— does J. beat H. ? — does H. beat J. ? ) or the 

Chinese use of ii in different places ? Cannot this 

be compared with the ingenious Arabic system of 

numeration, in which 234 means something entirely 

\ difl*erent from 324 or 423 or 432, and the ideas of 

**tens" and " hundreds " are elegantly suggested by 

y' ] the order of the characters, not ponderously expressed 

as in the Roman system ? 

78. (43) It will be objected that freedom to arrange 

; your words as you please is a great advantage. To 

I this I answer : We must beware of letting our judg- 

r ment be run away with by a word. Because freedom 

i is desirable elsewhere it does not follow that it should 

I • be the best thing in this domain ; jus^ as above we 

; did not allow the phrase ** wealth of forms '* to im- 

( pose upon us, we must here be on our guard against 

! the word *' free?. It will be an easy matter to turn 

\ the tables, if instead of inquiring into the advantages 

I of freedom we put the question in this way : Which 

I is preferable, order or disorder? It is true that 

viewed exclusively from the standpoint of the speaker. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


freedom would seem to be a great advantage, as it is 

a restraint to him to be obliged to follow strict rules ; 

but ah orderly arrangement is decidedly in the mter- 

€st of the hearer, as it facilitates very considerably 

his understanding of what is said to him ; and Aere- 

fore, though indirectly, it is in the interest of the 

speaker also, because he speaks for the purpose of 

being understood, for we may leave out of account 

those persons who speak solely for their own pleasure. 

Add to this that the want of a fixed order of words 

nccessiutes for the speaker the use of a more circum- 

stantial and clumsy wording, including a great many . 

reminders and so on, and you will see that even from 

the speaker's point of view a fixed word-order has 

not a few advantages. 

79. (43) If it b« "fg«*' '" **^°"'' °^ * . ^ 
order that we owe a certain regard to the interests of 
poets, it must be taken into consideration, first, that 
we cannot all of us be poets, and that a r^ard to all 
those of us who resemble Moliire's M. Jourdain in_ 
speaking prose without being aware of it, is perhaps 
after all more important than a regard to those very 
few who are in the enviable position of writing read- 
able verse ; secondly, that a statistical investigation 
would, no doubt, give as its result that those poets 
who make the most extensive use of inversions and y 

i other antiquated word-positions are not among the , . 

i greatest of their craft; and, finally, that in those 
I langu^ies which have turned word-order to profit as 
• a grammatical expedient,— at least, in those that I 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




• ; 1 


• II I 

am acquainted with — ^so many methods are found of 
* neutralising this restraint, in the shape of particles, 
passive voice, constructions of sentences, etc., that no 
artist in language (and that is what every poet should 
be) need despair. 

80* Observe, however, the natureof my arguments 
in favour of a strict word-order, and you will notice 
that they imply a reservation of no small significance. 
Most languages have some rules of word-position 
which are like certain rules of etiquette, in so far that 
you can see no reason for their existence, and yet 
you are obliged to bow to them. Historians may, in 
some cases, be able to account for their origin and 
show that they had a raison iTttre at some remote 
period ; but the circumstances that called them into 
existence then are now no more, and now the rules 
are felt to be restraints with no concurrent advantage 
to reconcile us to their observance. No praise is due 
to rules of position of this sort, and in esti- 
mating languages we should, as far as possible^ 
take this point too into consideration : What is the 
proportion between useful and useless rules of word- 
position ? 

This distinction, although implied in the language 
used, was not explicitly stated in the Danish edition ; 
and as some critics have on that account failed to sec 
the full scope of my views, I shall avail myself of the 
opportunity afforded by their objections to try and 
make my position more clearly understood. Mr. 
Arwid Johannson, in an interesting article on 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


^'Correctness in Language^"^ adduces a certain number 

of ambiguous sentences from German :— 

Soweit die deutsche zunge klingt und gvfi im 
himmel lieder singt (is g^it nominative or 
dative?) | Seinem landsmann» dem er in 
seiner ganzen bildung ebensoviel verdankte, '$ 

wie Goethe (nominative or dative?) | Doch [^ 

wUrde die gesellschaft der Indierin (genitive ^'^ 

or dative?) lastig gewesen sein | Darin hat \\ 

Caballero wohl nur einen konkurrenten, die • \\ 

Eliot, welche freilich die spanische dichterin ;< 

nicht ganz erreicht | Nur Diopeithes feindet • \^ 
insgeheim dich an und die schwester dcs t| 

Kimon und dein weib Telesippa. (In the 

last two sentences what is the subject, and i* 

what the object ? ) ! 

According toMr. Johannson, these passages show the J| 

disadvantages of doing away with formal distinctions, '| 

for the sentences would have been clear if each I 

separate case had had its distinctive sign ; '' the [ 

greater the wealth of forms, the more intelligible the l\ 

speech". And they show, moreover, that such j' 

ambiguities will occur, even where the strictest rules I; 

of word-order are observed (bei der festgeregelsten , ! I 

* In the Indogcrmani$ch$ Porschungin^ i., 1891 ; tee especially > *. 

pp. 247 and 24S, note. I leave out of account hit Swedith { i 

examplet, on p. 246, at they will be of little interett to Bnglith [[ 

readert ; betidet, Profc Ad. Noreen in a letter confirmt my . f ; 

turmiie that they are not quite idionmtic, and contequently ){ > 

prove very little indeed. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

►. :fj 



stellung . . . [beispiele] die eine ganz r^elm&ssige 
wortfolge aufweisen). I shall not urge that this is 
not exactly the case in the last sentence, if die 
sckwester and dein weib are to be taken as accusatives, 
for then an should have been placed at the very end - 
of the sentence ; nor that, in the last sentence but one, 
the mention of George Eliot as the ** konkurrent '' of 
Fernan Caballero seems to show a partiality to the 
Spanish authoress on the part of the writer of the 
sentence, so that the reader is prepared to take 
welche as the nominative case ; freilich would seem to 
point* in the same direction. But these, of course, 
^ I are only trifling objections ; the essential point is that 

we must grant the truth of Mr. Johannson's contention 
that we have here a flaw in the German language ; 
the defects of its grammatical system may and do 
cause a certain number of ambiguities. Neither is it 
difiicult to find out the reasons of these defects, by 
considering the structure of the language in its en- 
tirety, and by translating the sentences in question 
into a few other languages and comparing the re- 

8L First, with regard to the formal distinctions 
between cases, the really weak point cannot be the 
fewness of these endings, for in that case we should 
expect the same sort of ambiguities to be very com- 
mon in English and Danish, where the formal case- 
distinctions are considerably fewer than in German ; 
but as a matter of fact such ambiguities are more 
frequent in German than in the other two- languages. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


And, however paradoxical it may seem at first sight, 

one of the causes of this is the greater wealth of 

grammatical forms in German. Let us substitute 

other words for the ambiguous ones, and we shall 

see that the amphibology will nearly always dis- $ 

appear because most other words will have diflferent 

forms in the two cases ; e^. : — 

Soweit die deutsche zunge klingt und defn all- 

indchtigen (or, der aUntdchtige) lieder singt | 

Seinem landsmann, dem er ebensoviel ver- 

dankte wie dem grossen dichter (or, der 

grosse diclUer) \ Doch wurde die gesellschaft 

des Indiers (or, dem Tndier) lastig gewesen 

sein I Darin hat Calderon wohl nur einen 

konkurrenten, William Shakespeare, welcher 

freilich den spaniscken dichter nicht erreicht 

(or, den . . . der spanische d.) \ Nur D. 

feindet dich insgeheim an und der bruder 

des Kimon und sein freund T. (or, den 

bruder . . . seinen freund). 

It is the fact that countless sentences of this sort ' 

are perfectly clear, which leads to the employment 

of similar constructions even where the resulting / 

sentence is by no means clear; but if all, or most, | 

words were identical in the nominative and the dative, " '- 

like gott^ or in the dative and genitive, like der in^ 1^' 

dierin, constructions like those used would be im- li 

possible to imagine in a language meant to be an S\ 

intelligible vehicle of thought. And the ultimate jj 

reason of the ambiguities will thus be seen to be the [j 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

r, ,:■ 



inconsistency in the formation of the several cases. 
But this inconsistency is found in all the old languages 
of the Arian family: cases which in one gender or in 
one declension are kept perfectly distinct, are in 
others identical.^ While in IjsXxn patres filios aniant 
ox patres filii ainant are perfectly cXtax^patres consults 
amant allows of two interpretations; and in how 
many ways cannot such a proposition as Horatius et 
VirgUius poeta Varii amid erant be. construed? 
Such drawbacks seem to be inseparable from the 
structure of the highly flexional Arian languages ; 
although they are not logical consequences of a 
wealth of forms, yet historically they cling to those 
languages which have the greatest number of gram- 
matical endings. And as we are not here concerned 
with artificial VolapUks, but with natural languages^ 
we cannot accept the above quoted verdict of Johann- 
son's : •• The greater the wealth of forms, the more 
intelligible the speech '\ In fact, the author himself 
seems to have a scruple about it, for he adds in a 
footnote : ^M do not, of course, mean to lend my 
sanction to a luxuriant and clumsy wealth of forms 

^ DMPfifM is ^nitive singular and nominative plural (corre* 
•ponding to, «^., vwbi and V€rhiC)\ vwha it nominative and 
accusative plural (corresponding to domini and ihminos); 
domino it dative and ablative; domina genitive and dative tingu- 
lar and nominative plural ; U it accusative and ablative ; qui is 
tingular and plural; qua tingular feminine and plural, feminine 
and neuter; etc. Such incontiitent and arbitrary clathingt are 
dangerous, but they may, in the long run, help to introduce 
•yslcmattc timplifications. C£ § 146 iqq. 


by Google 





such as that found for instance in the Bantu languages, 
but I always have in my mind the wealth of forms 
(formenschatz) found in Arian languages ; ** unfortun- 
ately, he does not tell us which of the several Arian 
languages he will regard as the be^m idial in which 
he finds the golden mean ; are eight, or seven, or six, 
or perhaps five, distinct cases the ne plus ultra ? 1 :| 

82. Secondly, we consider the position of words <: j 

in Mr. Johannson's sentences, and we discover that :-, 

Modem High German still enforces some old rules of '\! 

word-order which have been given up in the other ri. 

cognate languages, where they were formerly in ii| 

common use. The most important of these is that of \\ 

placing the verb last in subordinate sentences; in ij 

two of the examples it is this rule which causes |; 

the ambiguity, which would accordingly have been !■ 

avoided in a principal sentence: Die deutsche sunge '!^ 

klingt und singt gott im himmel litder ; or, die d. s. *| 

ilingt und gott im himmel singt lieder \ sie erreic/it | 

freilich nicht die spanische dichttrin ; or, die sp. d. [[ 

erreicht sie freilicli nicht. In one of the remaining .{ 

sentences the ambiguity is caused by the rule that the 
verb must be placed immediately after an introductory 
adverb: if we omit the doch the sentence becomes 
clear: Die gesellschaft der indierin wilrde ; or, die 
gesellscha/t wUrde der indierin Idstig gewesen sein. 
All of which exemplifies the distinction between useless 
and useful rules of word-position. Word-position in 
German is comparatively strictly r^^lated, but gener- 
ally by arbitrary rules ; if, therefore, you change the 


Digitized by LjOOQIC -,5 

> . 


order of words in a German sentence, you will often 

find that the meaning is not changed in the least, but 

the result will be an unidiomatic construction (bad 

grammar) ; while in English a transposition will often 

result in perfectly good grammar, only the meaning 

^ will be an entirely different one from that of the 

original sentence. I do* not mean to say that the 

German rules of position are all useless, and the English 

all useful ; but only that in English word-order is 

7 I utilised to express difference of meaning to a far 

greater extent than in German, which stands in this, 

\f \ as in many other respects, on a lower plane of 

t I development than English. 

I * ' 88. Before leaving Mr. Johannson, I must remark 

^ I that as word-order in those languages which make the 

! I proper use of it is used much more consistently than 

any endings ever are in actually existing languages, 

i it is not only more convenient, but also clearer than 

r flexions. The alternatives, accordingly, are not, as 

^ he puts it, the avoidance of misunderstandings on the 

I one hand, and the sparing of flexional endings on 

the other; for in the evolution of languages the 

discarding of old flexions is perfectly consistent with 

the development of simpler and more regular 

expedients that are rather less liable to produce 

misunderstandings than were the old endings. When 

J Mr. Johannson writes, 'Mn contrast to Jespersen I 

1 do not consider that the masterly expression is the 

; orie which * is wisely silent,* and consequently leaves 

i . the meaning to be partly guessed at, but the one 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



Digitized byVjOOQlC 




which is able to impart the meaning of the speaker or 
writer clearly and perfectly^ — he seems to me rather 
wide of the mark. For, just as in reading the , i^ > 

arithmetical symbol 334 we are perfectly sure that ;f[ 

two hundred and thirty-four is meant, and not three '; I] 

hundred and forty-two, so in reading or hearing ;<^, 

" The boy hates the girl " we cannot have the least |j^ 

doubt who hates whom. If in any way the under- 
standing of English (or Chinese, etc) sentences 
depended on guesswork like a missing word competi- 'j/,; 

tion (or a missing flexion competition), well, then the • ,^V 

language could not be said to be '^ unsefy silent ". ' |f i ^ 

84. I must here turn to another critic. Prof. D. K. '1 ! | 

DO[>GE, who, in reviewing my Fremskridt i Sproget} \ j 

says : ** To cite one example, which figures in almost ;}} 

every English Rhetoric as a violation of clearness: l\, ^ 

•And thus the son the fervid sire address'd'. The !^; 

use of a separate form for nominative and accusative Ij; 

would clear up the ambiguity immediately." No j; ; 

doubt it would ; but so would the use of a natural 
word-order. If the example is found in almost 
every English Rhetoric, I am happy to say that such 
ambiguous sentences are scarcely, if ever, found in 
other English books.. No person in his sober senses 
would ever speak so; no prose writer would ever 
indulge in such a style ; and in the whole range of 
my reading in English poetic literature I do not 
remember a single instance of so bold an inversion, \\ \ 

except where the context would unmistakably show U 

* Modum L4mgtuig$ NoUs^ Nov., xSga. ; ^ 

if ,' 



which word was to be taken as the nominative.^ 
And even if such examples are here and there to be 
found, the only thing they can prove is this, that 
a violation of the rules of grammar entails want of 
clearness, and in present-day English such an arrange- 
ment of words is to be considered as a fault to be 
classed almost with the \ise of dominum as a nomina- 
tive in Latin. 

Those who regret the want of separate forms for 
nominative and accusative, etc., seem generally to be 
considering how a language might be constructed 
; which would combine the greatest clearness with 

^'\ ^ simplicity and freedom ; they see some drawbacks in 
{ , I the language that is most familiar to them, and they 

I I cannot help exclaiming : Oh, how easy it would be 

! ! to remedy the defects, if only we had separate forms, 

;' [ etc This manner of rq^rding linguistic problems 

presents no very great difficulties, especially as 
nobody will take you to task and call upon you 
actually to construct a language such as you dream 
of, one that would be perfect in every detail. People 
are apt to forget that these are really nothing but 
barren speculations with not the slightest scientific 
significance, and that the really important questions 
are, firstly, What is the direction of change in lan- 
guages, as ikey actually exist ? And secondly, Is this 
or is it not a direction towards progress ? 
85. My answer is : Languages tend on the whole 

' I 

I I 


r , 


A \ * See, for instance, Longfellow's translation from Logau :— >' 

** A blind man is a poor man, and blind a poor man is ; 
For the former seeth no man, and the latter no man sees *\ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


more and more to utilise word-position for gram- t^ 

matical purposes; and this is really a progressive \r 

tendency^ directly progressive, because it is in itself * 

the easiest and nicest linguistic expedient, rendering U 

the task of speaking easier, and involving less effort * Ij 

on the part of the listener ; indirectly, because it facili- *i 

tiites the great work of simplification in language by [ )'j 

making the unwieldy forms used of old to indicate ' ' 

concord, etc., more and more superfluous. The sub- \\\ 

stitution of word-order for flexions means a victory of |. : 

spiritual over material agencies. \< 

Word-position has acquired grammatical signifi- I* 

cance ; and if we ask how this has come to pass, we > 

get the same answer as before, when we were con- \ 

sidering other grammatical instruments : it has come ; [ 

by a slow growth, without any intention on the part j. 

of the speakers. By little and little, people accus- ^ 
tomed themselves to arrange their words after the 

same pattern, until those case-endings which had ! 

hitherto been the primary grammatical sign to in* V 

dicate subject and object, or to show what noun an -; 
adjective belonged to, and those tones which had 

been the chief means of indicating a question, be- t 

came gradually more subordinate and were finally * 

made wholly or nearly superfluous. Grammaticsil il\ 

meaning was first expressed by certain more material ; I 

instruments, independent of word-position, then by ! 5 

the same instruments with the words arranged in a • j 

fixed order, and finally by order, independent of jj 

those original instruments. 'j 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




86. (44) We have seen in the preceding investiga- 
tions that the downhill theory does not hold good 
for languages in historic times; on the contrary^ 

-I , languages seem to be on the whole constantly 

progressive, not only with regard to the development 
of their vocabulary, where nobody ever denied it, but 
also in grammar, where philologists of the old school 
were able to see only decay and retrogression. And 
besides establishing this progressive tendency, we have 
also incidentally seen some at least of the often un- 
expected ways which lead languages to develop new 
grammatical forms and expressions. We are thus 
prepared to enter into a criticism of that theory con- 
cerning the prehistoric development of Arian speech 
which has met with greatest favour ^tmong philologists, 
and which has been expounded with greatest precision 
1 ' and consistency fay Schleicher. The theory, as will 

be remenAbered, was this : an originally isolating 
lsing}Mig^ consisting of formless roots, passed through 

• I an agglutinating stage, in which formal elements had 

been developed, although these and .the roots were 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 

\ / - u 


' AnnaUr fornorduh OUl^mdighedf 1854, p. 229. 

8 ' 




mutually independent, to the third and highest stage |; 

found in flexional languages, in which formal elements. ^ j^* 

penetrated the roots and made inseparable unities |^ 

with them. 'J f^ 

87. (45) First, as regards the postulated root ^ ^V 

stage, we have seen how the support which Chinese y 

was supposed to lend to the theory has broken down. 
But also from other quarters the belief in such a 
starting-point has been shaken. An investigation of 
Old Arian phonetic laws has led some philologists to 
doubt the supposition, which is essentially due to 
the old Indian grammarians, that roots were always 
monosyllabic ; and now many prefer fancying the 
roots as dissyllabics. A more important reason for ! { 

objecting to the theory seems to be this, that we ji 

cannot imagine people expressing themselves by 
means of a langu^^e consisting exclusively of roots 
.such as those given by Sanskrit scholars ; the h^<j^*y. 
abstract significations assigned to them (''breathe, 
move, be sharp or quick, blow, go," etc.) would, in 
themselves be sufficient to preclude the idea of such 
a language existing as a practically useful means of 
communication— especially between savage or worse 
than savage beings. No; of a certainty, roots never 
were spoken words ; and there is no doubt a great 
deal of truth in such expressions as these : '* a root is 
only something imaginary, an abstraction'* (Pott); 
•* the root is an ideal object " (Lyngby *) ; " roots are 
not natural entities, but investigators' hypotheses. 



h ■ 


i . 

i V 




"t . 



' * 


i ' 



, '{ 

• - 



. i 

" f 'i 


»* • 


'*' - 1 

• \ 

* "*- i 


-\ I 


•■ 1 





Speakers seem to me to have spoken, from the first, 

and to speak now, without any general consciousness 

of their existence** (Ellis*). It seems, then, thtft the 

correct view of the nature of roots is that they arc 

abstractions of that which is common to a group of 

^vords which are felt as etymologically related. But, 

according to this, the root is not older than the 

words that are *" derived " from it; and consequently, 

in spite of the opposition of most living comparative 

philologists, we can speak with perfect justice of 

Greek, French, or English roots. Why not speak of 

I a French root n?«/, found in rouler, rouleinentrroulage^ 

\^ roulier^ rouleau^ roulette^ roulis ? This only becomes 

unjustifiable if, in putting down roul as the root, we 

fancy we have historically explained the origin of the 

words in question, or if we suppose that raul is a root 

which at some time existed independently of the 

dcri^xd words; for then the linguistic historian steps 

in and objects that the words have been formed, not 

from a root, but from a real word, and one which is 

Ijv . not even itself a primary word, but a derivative, Latin, 

\ * rotuia^ a diminutive of n>/<i, "wheel".* To the 

1^ popular instinct sorrow and sorry are undoubtedly ' 

L related to one another ; and a student of Living 

"* English diould respect this feeling, and say that the 

words now belong to the same root ; but a thousand 

' Trtmuutions cftki PkiMogUtd Society ^ 1873-74, p. 455. 

' Thia example it taken from the sober critical article La 
Lmngms Indoiuro^immi by M. Br^l {JaumtU det SavtinU^ Oct., 

.-^,-- I DigitiTB-dbyCjOOQlC 


^ " 6- 

3'eafs ago they had nothing to do with each other, ^ 

and belonged to diflPerent roots (Old English, sorg, |?.^ 

^' care," and sarig, * wounded," "afflicted"). If al) h' 

traces of Greek and Latin, etc., were lost, a linguist i,>| 

would have no more scruples about connecting scene \\ . 

Avith see than most illiterate Englishmen have now.* .r 

But who will vouch that the Arian roots found in our ' ^^ 

dictionaries have not originated in similar ways to 
the roots /v///-, sorr-^ and see- ? j! : 

88. (46) According to Schleicher and his disciples, jj' 

the root stage was succeeded by the agglutinating xi' 

stage, in which the main part of the word was un- f ! 

changed, while formal elements might be added as 1 ; ' 

prefixes or suffixes. Now, as only very few languages j ^ • 

present the same kind of structure as Chinese (which • J 

represented the first class), and as, on the other hand, I i 

only two families of languages (the Arian and 
Semitic) are allowed a place in the third or flexional 
class, this intermediate class is made to include the 
great majority of human tongues. Consequently,"^ 
languages of the most widely different types are 
brought together under the heading of " agglutina- 
tion," and it becomes next to impossible to form any 
idea of what is properly the connecting link between 
these languages. The definitions generally given 
seem to have been taken from Ural-Altaic languages, 
and to have been thence transferred with more or 
less of constraint to all the rest The consequence 
is that in reading, for instance, in Schleicher or Fr. 
Muller, their descriptions of languages which arc 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


• ^ » 




i termed agglutinating, one is perpetually startled and 

'^■.) 1: driven inwardly to confess that one is unable to see 

\l\ any difle'rence between the grammatical forms of 

these languages and those which in Latin and Greek 
we call flexionsL It is especially so in dealing with 

jA so complicated a language as Basque ; here the verbal 

forms indicate not only the person of the subject, but 
also that of the object proper and the object of re- 
ference (dative) ; and, further, " the Basque language 
distinguishes in the verbal flexion when a man, a 
woman, or a person who commands respect is spoken 
to: the two first forms are familiar; the third is 
' generally used. Thus, dut^ * I have ' (generally speak- 

ing) ; diai^ ' I have ' (to a man) ; dinai^ ' I have ' (to a 
woman)." * On the whole, the forms are so manifold 
that we understand how Larramendi, in his legitimate 
pride at having been the first to reduce them to a 
system, called his grammar El ImposibU Vencido^ 
•The Impossible Overcome". To pve some notion 
of this jumble of forms I copy a few from Prof. 
.^ Sayce's Introduction to the Science of Language (ii., 
312) : dety I have it ; aut^ I have thee; ditut^ I have 
them ;. dizut^ I have it for thee ; dizutet^ I have it for 
you ; diskisuty I have them for you ; diot^ I h^ve it 
for him. Can this be called an invariable root with 
endings added loosely, and easily separated? 

89. Some philologists have maintained that in 
French in the coalescence of the pronoun with the verb 
we have really something corresponding to the Basque 

> Byt» quoted in Techmer't Intemai. 2Msckr^ L, p. 44a 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



verbal forms (or to the American incorporations). 
They will say that the spelling ot je and the other 
pronouns as separate words in yW//i/, i7 U U disait 
goes for nothing, and that the pronouns are really 
part and parcel of the verb as much as the corre- • j » 

isponding elements in the exotic languages mentioned ; 
if French had had no literary ttzdition, jMme^jelaivte^ 
etc., would probably have been written in one word. 
There seems, however, to be a difference ; the French 
•elements are much more felt as independent of one 
another than can be the case in Basque, etc This 
is shown first by the possibility of varying the pro- 
nunciation : Utile disait may be pronounced either 
{itladize] or [itoldizc] (or, even in more elevated style, 
iltdlddize) ; secondly, by the regularity of these joined 
pronominal forms, for they are always the same, \y^' 

whatever the verb may be; and, lastly, by their ' 

changing places in certain cases : te U disait-U? \ 

dis'U4ui^ etc And, at any rate, the verbal form is_ j !, 

totally independent of the pronoun, as seen in ** Jean i \\ 

disait a sa mire ; disons 9a i sa mire," etc All of V 

which is impossible in the Basque forms, in which U' 

you can no more separate the pronominal and verbal !: ■ 

elements or make them change places than you could ': > 

the am and o in the Latin aino. 

90. (44) The term agglutinative is still less appli- 
cable to such languages as some of those spoken I ( 
hy North American Indians and Eskimos, where the ; i j 
incorporation of expressions for various subordinate .{ 
ideas into the verb is carried to such an extent that 

! »:• 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 

•* i 



r j!* 



— ^/'ij the whole utterance forms one inextricable web^ 

^ which can hardly be termed either a word or a sentence^ 

I and into which the several elements ^nter, often in 

11 j hardly recognisable shape. We are here nearly as. 

far removeci as possible from the simplicity and 

lucidity which distinguish those languages to which 

the term agglutination seems first and with greatest 

■^7^1; propriety to have been applied* namely, Finnic 

and Magyar and their cc^^ate tongues. And yet, 

even with r^;ard to these, latter, an eminent authority 

on all of these languages writes : *" The difference 

y^ l| - between these and the so-called flexional languages, 

to which our tongue belongs, is in many points 
comparatively vague, and there are here found not a 
few formations which can with perfect justice be said 
to* rest on flexion 'V 

9L (47) The third stage, according to Schleicher, 
was flexion, characterised by the highest union of 
content and form, the root itself being subject to 
change to express modifications of the meanings 
especially for grammatical purposes. Here, we must 
first notice what Schleicher himself admits — that in 
flexional languages we find a great many things 
which cannot be called flexion as he defined it In 
his view they are sur\'ivals of the previous stages of 
isolation and agglutination through which these 
languages passed in prehistoric times. And next we 
must remember that originally no modification of 

* Vilh. Thomsen, in Tidskr. /. PhiMogi og Padag.^ vii., 1867 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



meaning was associated with those inner changes in 

the root If in Greek we have the three forms of |^ 

gradation (ablaut) lip^leip, and laip^ the>' owe their 

origin to differences of accent ; and if they are used 

in three different tenses of the verb {e-lipon I left, 

leipd I leave, leloipa I have left) the tense relation 

itself is expressed by means of endings (and b^in- 

nings), but not at all, or at least neither originally nor 

exclusively, by vowel gradation. So too in the more 

recent phenomenon, mutation (umlaut) : where it is 

used as a means of indicating a' plural, as in goose — 

geese, Danish gaas—gas, this is a comparatively 

modem development: originally the plural was 

expressed by an ending (-^, -i>), which in course of 

time modified the root vowel, and then, some time 

afterwards, was itself dropped. Here, then, we have 

again an originally accidental change of the word, 

which has eventually been made to do duty as an 

expedient for signifying a change of sense. And. 

curiously enough, in no otlier language has this been 

done in a greater degree than in that language which, 

according to Schleicher, shows the deepest decline 

from the flexional golden age, vis., English. In -i- ^^ 

Knglish more than anywhere else change of vowel )[: ''• 

alone, without any concurrent change of endings or ' |,* *, 

the like, is used to distinguish different shades of y.\\ 

meaning : as, for instance, sing^ sang^sung^ song. But 5 

if we should ask whether Schleicher is right in looking 

upon this as the highest and most perfect of formal 

means in language, we must, I am afraid, express 









Digitized byVjOOQlC 




ourselves a little more reservedly, as this inner change 
cannot be used with complete equality and n^larity 

in all roots. 

92. (48) What is, after all, the essential charac- 
teristic of flexion ? I can find no better answer than 
this : t Flexion means inseparableness of the word 
itself (the ^ full word '' of Chinese grammar) and the 
formal elements (the ''empty words" of the Chinese). 
The Latin amo shows flexion, the English / lave does 
not, because the idea is here dissolved into two in- 
dependent parts.^ But if flexion is thus interpreted 

* On account of this inseparableness, flexional forms are 
often shorter than those combinations of several words which 
in more analytic languages are used to translate them ; thun 
Latin dixi is more compact than the corresponding English 
** I have spoken,** or ** I have said **• '* One single added con- 
sonant such as -4 or -/ can express the same thing which [in 
non-flexional languages] requires one or more words,** says 
Pro£ H. Molier, who finds me here at variance with myself, 
shortness of word-forms being named in § 16 as an advantage 
\\ if belonging to the later stages of languages. The solution of 

\ji the discrepancy lies hidden in his own statement: ** Nothing 

can possibly be shorter than flexion in those cases .where one 
inflected word with no sequence of words in agreement is con- 
cerned **. For we do not generally speak in single disconnected 
words, and in connected speech the languages which exact 
concord will not appear to advantage (cf. also the examples in 
$ 30). Besides, we should not compare single features of one 
V language with single feature of another, but look at the 
typical characteristics of the twa Pro£ E. Tegn^r (see 
SprakeU Makt^ pp. 51-53) has calculated that the Gospel of St. 
Matthew in Greek contains about 39,000 syllables, while the 
more analytic Swedish translation has about 35,000, and the 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





as inseparablencss, as opposed to analysis, it will be p. .; 

easily seen from all the above investigations that 
there exist many diflerent gradations of both ; in no 
single language do we find either synthesis or analysis j;^ 

carried out with absolute purity and consistency. \\ 

Everywhere we find a more or less. Latin is ^• 

synthetic in comparison with French, French analytic \\ 

in comparison with Latin ; but if we were able to see ^ ; 

the direct ancestor of Latin, say two thousand years ^f 

before the earliest inscriptions, we should no doubt -i;. 

find a language so synthetic that in comparison with 
it Cicero's would have to be termed highly analytic 
93. (48) Our principal conclusion, then, is this: 
the old theory which imagined the prehistoric de- 
velopment of Arian speech from roots through ag- 
glutination to flexion is untenable. The only way 
of arriving at sound hypotheses with r^ard to pre- 
historic* times is by examining the development which . 
takes place in epochs historically accessible to us. 
If, in historic times, we find definite and comprehend 
sive laws of evolution, we cannot help assuming the 
same laws as valid for prehistoric times as well ; if 
history shows us certain lines of direction, followed 
by all languages which are in process of change, we 
cannot avoid* the conclusion that languages have 
changed along the same lines as long as human 
beings have spoken ; so that to imagine the state of 

Chinese only 17,00a I may add that according to my own 
calculations the same Gospel contains in Danish about 32,500, 
and in English (the Authorised Version) about 29,000 syllables. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 







1 '■ 


' 1 








;v. ^ 


''^ . • ' 




* ' j 






* primeval language we have only to follow these lines 
backwards beyond the eariiest period of which we 
!|i have any tradition. 

Now, Modem English as compared with Old Eng- 
lish ; Modem Danish, Swedish and Norwegian as 
compared with Old Norse ; Modem Low German as 
compared with Old Saxon ; Modem High German 
as compared with Old High German (all modem 
Germanic tongues as compared with the Gothic of 
Wulfila) ; Modem French, Italian, etc, as compared 
with Latin; Modem Greek as compared with Old 
Greek ; Modem Persian as compared with the lan- 
guage of the Avesta ("Zend") and the cuneiform 
inscriptions; Modem Indian dialects as compared 
with Prakrit and Sanskrit — all of these show, though 
', in different degrees, the same direction of change ; 
the grammatical forms of the modem languages are 
all shorter, fewer, simpler, more abstract and more 
regalzr; those of the older languages in general 

• longer, more complicated, more concrete and more 

* irr^[ulan Semitic languages present, as I under- 
' stand, similar phenomena. And we find traces of an 

evolution in the same direction in those languages 
where the want of early documents, or the peculiar 
character of the early documents, hinders us from 
following the historic development with the same 
exactitude as in the languages just mentioned (see 
the sections above on Bantu and on Chinese). We 
seem therefore justified in believing that the pre-Arian 
languages spoken in a remote past by our ancestom 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



were still more complicated than the oldest languages ^^ 

we are now acquainted with; they must certainly in »: 

many points have presented similar features to those ..; 

found in Basque or in those enUngled, polysynthetic : 1 1 

Indian languages, where the sentences consist in / ' j 

intricate words or word-conglomerations, embodying *| 

in one inseparable whole such distinctions as subject, f : y 

verb, direct and indirect objects, number, tense, mood, ^ ■ 

etc, and being therefore very clumsy and imperfect v 

instruments for the expression of thought ;- 

94. But here it will be— as in fact it has been— \} 

objected that this polysynthesis and incorporation T,' 

cannot be primitive, as we see similar phenomena { ' 

which have developed in quite recent times. The /; 

French incorporation of pronominal forms has been ; 

mentioned above ; it cannot be called a case in point. : i : 

Prof MoUcr says: "In English 'entangling' (or 'i 

amalgamation, sammenfiltringen) is growing luxuri- 1 1 

antly : V [-z]« «, has ; 'rf « had, would; 7/ » w//// 1 • 

dorit, won't, can't, etc" But these developments r 

cannot be paralleled with flexion or polysynthesis; ;; ^ 
for, however closely together liis or John's ( ^John is) 

is generally pronounced, it is, and is felt to be, two ' ^ < 

words, as is shown by the possibility of transposition : \ ; 
(Is he ill ?) and of intercalation of other words (John 
never is ill). As for don't, worit, shan't, and can't, 
they are more like amalgamations of the verbal with 
the negative idea. Still, it is important to notice that 
the amalgamation only takes place with a few verbs 
all of them belonging to the auxiliary or •• empty- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


' ' 1 




i . 






1. i 


word " class. Therefore, in saying " I don't write," 
etc» the full word is not touched by the fusion, and is 
even allowed to be unchanged in cases where it would 
have been inflected had the auxiliary not been used ; 
compare / wn/€, he writes^ I tvrote, with the negative 
expressions / donU write^ he doesrit write^ I didn't 
write. It will be seen, especially if we tak<^ into 
account the colloquial or vulgar form for the third 
person he dotii write^ that the general movement here 
as elsewhere is really rather in the direction of 
^ isolation ** than fusion ; for the verbal form write is 
cleared of all signs of person and tense, the person 
being indicated separately, and the tense sign being 
joined to the n^;ation. So also in interrogative 
sentences ; and if that tendency which can be ob- 
served in Elizabethan English had prevailed — as 
some day it will perhaps— of using the '* emphatic '* 
form, I do write^ in positive statements even where no 
special emphasis is intended, English verbs (except a 
few auxiliaries) would have been entirely stripped of 
all those elements which to most grammarians con- 
stitute the very essence of a verb, namely, the marks 
of person, number, tense, and mood, write being the 
universal form, beside the quasi-nominal or adjectival 
forms writing and written. 

95. Prof. Herm. Mdller holds, in opposition to my 
views, that the history of language does not show a 
continual progressive tendency, but rather a sort of 
gyration. He admits that many regular forms have 
been substituted for irregular ones ; but, on the other 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


hand, he finds that some formations which were regu- 
lar in earlier stages become irr^^lar in modem lan- 
guages, and he infers that r^^larity and irr^^larity 
and r^^larity once more go on continually alternat- 
ing. Similarly he notices that the Latin flexional 
future amabo has been succeeded by the analytical 
expression atnare habto^ which in its turn is fused 
into a new flexional form amerb^ aimerai ; and from 
this he evolves a similar law of rotation from flexion 
through analysis to flexion once more, or, as he puts 
it in another place: first flexionless analysis, then 
agglutination, then flexion, and then again absence 
of flexion. But these results are only arrived at by 
considering a comparatively small number of phe- 
nomena, and not by viewing the successive stages 
of the same language as wholes and deriving general 
inferences as to their typically distinctive characters.^ 
For if we find that two r^^lar forms have become 
irregular, but that in the same period ten irr^^lar 
forms have been succeeded by r^ular ones ; or if for- 
every two instances of new flexions springing up we 
see ten older ones discarded in favour of analyses or 
isolation, are we not entitled to the generalisation 
that anomaly and flexion tend to give way to regu- 
larity and analysis? Prof. Mdller seems to be under 
the same delusion as a man who in walking over a 
mountainous country thinks that he goes down just 
as many and just as long hills as he goes up, while 

* This is best done by such Ubulations as those printed 
below, chapter vi. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

IT -I 

h A 

f \ ■ 

.. I- 

1- ■ 



! '"'i. 


D [h 

i 1|1 

1 1 on the contrary each ascent is higher than the pre- 

I j n ceding descent^ so that finally he finds himself un- 

l| ^ I expectedly many thousand feet above the level he 

I ■ 'j started from. 

96. (49) On every point our investig^ation has led 
us to scepticism with r^^rd to the system of the old 
school of philology. But while we perceive that their 
inferences were drawn too hastily and from insuf- 
ficient materials, and while we feel tempted totally 
to reverse their system, we must be on our g^ard and 
not establish too rigid and too. absolute a system our- 
selves. It would not do simply to reverse the order 
of the three stages of evolution, and say that flexion 
is the oldest stage, from which language tends through 
^ j an agglutinative stage towards complete isolation ; 

for flexion, agglutination, and isolation do not include 
all possible structural types of speech, nor do these 
words with suflicient definiteness characterise the 
successive stages of those languages whose history is 
comparatively best known. The possibilities of de- 
velopment are so manifold, and there are such in- 
numerable ways of arriving at more or less adequate 
expressions for human thought, that it is next to 
impossible to compare languages of different families. 
Even if it is, therefore, probable that English, Fin- 
nish, and Chinese are all simplifications of primitive 
flexional or even incorporating languages, we cannot 
say that Chinese, for instance, was at one time in 
structure like English, and at some other time like 
Finnish. English was once a flexional language, and 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



is now in some respects agglutinative, in others isolat- 
ing or nearly so. With the reservation made in this 
paragraph, we may say that on the .whole languages/ 
tend always in the exactly opposite direction to that 
indicated by Schleicher, namely, from polysynthetic 
flexion through agglutination to flexionless isolation. 
I)ut it will, perhaps, be preferable to state the same 

Schleicher's system is to be likened to an enormous 
pyramid ; only it is a pity that he should make its 
base the small, square, strong Chinese root-word, and 
suspend above it the inconvenient flexion-encumbered 
Indo-Germanic sentence-word. Structures of this sort 
may with some adroitness be made to stand ; but 
their equilibrium is unstable, and sooner or later they 
will inevitably tumble over. 

I. , - 


If- '. 

* ' • 


97. (so) Although it will be seen that in a great 
many particulars the views advanced in these 
chapters have been previously enunciated with more 
or less of clearness by other philologists, I do not 
think that my theory of the progressive tendency and 
direction of language has been expounded before by 
any one. It is true that I find the following passage 
in Prof. Sayce's IntrinluctioH to the Science of Language 

! . 



' ' -J -'I 



(i., pp. 85-87) : *' In pursuance of Bopp's method, but 
independently of the distinctive theories of his school, 
Waitz, the anthropologist, has propounded a new 
theory of language ... the incorpor^tmg languages 
of America, in which an individual action is repre- 
sented by a single sentence pronounced as one word, 
are a survival of the primitive condition of language 
everywhere. It is only gradually that the different 
parts of speech-are distinguished in the sentence, and 
words formed by breaking up its co-ordinated ele- 
ments into separate and independent jvholes. . . . The 
agglutinative tongues in which the subordinate parts 
of a sentence are brought into duly dependent relation 
to the principal concept are more highly advanced 
than the inflexional. • . . An isolating language like 
the Chinese stands on the highest level of develop- 
ment, since here the sentence has been thoroughly 
analysed and each member of it rendered clear and 
distinct, their relations to one another being deter- 
mined by position alone. Chinese, therefore, has 
given concrete expression in language to the philo- 
sophic analysis of ideas. • • . Waitz's theory of 
speech is flie theory of an anthropologist who, as the 
student of the master-science, is better able to decide 
upon the origin of language than the comparative 
philologist with whom the existence of language has 
to be assumed. No science can of itself discover the 
genesis of its subject-matter." 

98. (50) It will be understood that after reading 
' this exposition of a theory which harmonised so com- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

- t; 



« :' 

pletely with the whole tenor of my own thoughts, I 
eagerly seized an opportunity of consulting the first 
volume of Theodor Waitz's Anthropologie der Natur- 
volker (1859). It would have been so very pleasant 
to refer to the authority of the eminent anthropologist 
and to cry out to compairative philologists : Here you 
see, that more than thirty years ago, an outsider pro- 
pounded a clear, consistent, and undoubtedly correct 
theory, which you have kept disregarding for all these 
years 1 But, oh I how great was my disappointment 
when on reading, and reading repeatedly, the section 
in question, I was utterly unable to find this funda- 
mental theory. Waitz as an anthropologist cherishes 1 \ 
a profound respect for philologists, and speaks of the 1 
reliable results of their method in determining the j \ 
races of mankind as opposed to those which can be 
rings of skulls and the like ; certainly, 
I into his mind to overthrow the 
ic science, or to start new theories on — 
of the different types of speech. ' t 
ry, Waitz makes a cardinal point of 
the fixed character of linguistic structure, and con- 
sequently keeps at a respectful distance from Max V^ 
Mailer's (i>., Schleicher's) view, according to which r > 
the three types of speech have developed out of one 
another with the isolating languages as the starting- ': i 
point The reverse evolution with isolation as the \ \ 
topmost stage is evidently very far from his thoughts, 
for he does not set so very great store by Chinese. 
"The wholly asyndetic isolating languages (so we 


Digitized by LjOOQIC 







in': read on p. 276) leave our thoughts almost entirely to 

themselves ; they give hardly any hints as to their 
organisation, and leave our single ideas, which corre- 
jl j spond to separate words, to stand by the side of each 

other in unrelated independence (in beziehungsloser 
selbstandigkeit) ; the speaker is not led to analyse 
them, and must re^ -contented with marking a few 
rough distinctions between principal and subordinate 
conceptions.^ It will be seen that this is not exactly 
the same thing as the view attributed to Waitz by 
Sayce. ** In opposition to this (we further read) the 
polysynthetic languages force the speaker as much 
as possible to grasp each conceptual whole as a unity, 
to join subordinate ideas as closely as possible to the 
principal idea, to view as it were at a glance the whole 
situation, that has to be rendered in speech, and not 
to make the modifications be added piecemeal and 
little by little to what is the chief element of thought ; 
these languages hinder the decomposition of ideas to 
I j;1 a far greater d^ree than the first (or isolating) class.** 

As for flexional languages, Waitz seems to look upon 
them as standing higher than the others, but his ex- 
pressions are somewhat vague and partly contradic- 
tory ; on pp. 275 and 277 he says it is characteristic 
of flexion that secondary subordinate elements of 
thought are expressed by sounds which have no 
meaning of their own, but are inserted as integral 
portions of the main word ; while on p. 276 we read : 
*The fundamental idea of flexion is that tlie principal 
and the subordinate elements of thought remain in- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



dependent and separate, and never coalesce into a U 

single word ". Sayce quotes this passage, but I fail • i v 

to understand how Waitz's expressions can be in- 
terpreted as implying the inferiority of flexional 

99. (51) But, if the theory I looked for was not to 
be found in Waitz*s work, it is in Sayce*S ; although 
he does not give it as his own, and although 
he can hardly be said to accept it I seize the 
opportunity of acknowledging the great influence 
Prof Sayce's works on linguistics have had on me ; 
his suggestive remarks have often made me take up 
lines of thought which perhaps I should not have 
been led to, if it were not for him. So much the 
more must I from my point of view r^ret that this 
bold opposer of theJtpfla of the ordinary linguistic 
school is in some very important points as much 
warped by prejudices as most other philologists. 
Though he repeatedly hints at the difficulties of—, 
drawing a sharply-defined line of division between 
agglutinating and flexional languages, yet he holds 
that there is a great gulf fixed between them, and he 
says: "The Finnic idioms have become so nearly 
inflexional as to have led a recent scholar to .suggest 
their relationship to our Arian group ; nevertheless, 
they have never cleared the magical [I] frontier 
between flexion and agglutination, hard as it may be 
to define, since to pass from agglutination to inflexion - , 

is to revolutionise the whole system of thought and -J 

language and the basis on which it rests, and to I [ 







J * 

"^ a" 



■ * 




, i 

■ ' 

1 •- ) 

i i 

« * 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




*M,\ break with the past psychological history and 

- ; jfj tendencies of a speech".* Revolutions do, however, 

* ^ ^ri; take place in the world of languages, even if they take 

^ \l more time than 'it takes the French to change their 

• r j; constitutions : if a thousand years suffices to change 
. ?>l! a type of speech like that of King Alfred into the 
' •ijj totally different one of Queen Victoria, then the 
] Ti'i' much longer period which palaeontologists and 
L :i!|i zook>gists accord to mankind on this earth could 

!'j work still greater wonders. * In spite of such 

expressions as this, '^Species passes gradually into 
species, class into class," Sayce stands, with r^ard 
ji ' to those three or four types of speech which arc 

I' distinguished by linguists, in much the same attitude 

l which naturalists kept with regard to the notion of 

J; ^ ** species " before Darwin came ; he uses the same sort 
•I I of expressions, e^. : *' With all this gradual approxima- 

|, tion the several types of language still remain fixed 

and distinct ". 
100. (51) Neither is he right in his manner of 
|i viewing the value of phonetic attrition (see above, § 

16) ; he speaks, for instance, of Chinese as a ''decrepit'* 
language (i., 372), that ''has been affected by phonetic 
decay to an enormous extent ** (ibid.)^ and " the whole 
speech has grown old and weather-beaten. It is the 
Mandarin dialect which chiefly shows these marks of 
ruin ^ (ii., 22 1 ), We are here reminded of Schleicher's 
words (above, % 6) that the languages which we speak 
now-a-days in North-western Europe are "senile 

' IniroduciUm40 Si. of L«, L, xjx ; cf. ibid.t i^ 36^ and iL| 1B6. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


■ 1 




specimens of speech," and we search in vain for any 
real thought in connexion with such expressions. A ^ 

language which is old, weather-beaten, and decrepit, £.;'; 

which is perhaps — that is only one step further — [ij^ 

falling into dotage and second childhood i what can ! ] , 

this mean? Are the English no longer able to V 

express their thoughts by means of their language ? { *; 

Is the speech of the Chinese like that of an old tooth- 
less crone, whose ideas and sounds are equally 

Similarly, Sayce does not see the value and 
significance of the simplification of the Arian noun- ^\ 

declension which has taken place in historic times; ; 

he says : " The history of the noun is one of continu- I 

ous decay. . . . Long before the age of Arian ; \ 

separation, ... the creative epoch had passed, and 
the cases and numbers of the noun had entered on 
their period of decay" (ii., 149-150). And although 
the pages he devotes to the relative estimation of _ 
languages (L, 374 sgf.) contain many excellent and j- \ 

suggestive remarks, and begin by stating the true - If j; 

principle, " what we really mean when we say that V "' 

one language is more advanced than another, is that 'j^ 

it is better adapted to express thought"; yet the 
writer does not go the full length of his own opinion, 
for on the very next page he tells us that it is all a 
matter of taste : •* Preferences of this kind can as 
little be referred to an absolute standard as preferences 
in the matter of personal beauty. The European, for [> { 

instance, has a wholly different ideal of beauty from 

I f 

■ I 




Digitized byVjOOQlC 


,~. the N^fTo, and the N^ro from the Mongol.'* On 

: ! j-jj^ some of the most vital points, Sayce has not attained 

to a settled and consistent belief. 



: I 


1 t. 



lOL (52) In favour of the theory here expounded 
it may be said that it leads on every point to a mon- 
istic view ; while Schleicher, though clearly perceiving 

l^. that all science and philosophy tends in our days 

jri towards monism/ is yet by the very nature of his 

i jr ' standpoint obliged to set up a dualism in some de- 
cisive points. Thus, he establishes an opposition 
between phonetic decay and simultaneous develop- 
ment of richer resources in syntax and style; while 
according to our view the evolution in both depart- 
ments goes hand in hand, if we consider phonetic 
evolution rightly as an evolution towards shorter and 
easier forms. 
'j|| Inseparable from thid is another dualism of Schlei- 

cher's, according to which grammar falls into two 
.sharply divided parts: on the one hand, phonolc^ 
and morphology, ^the nature side of language,** 
which is to be treated as a natural science by the 
^ glotticist '*; and, on the other, syntax and style, " the 
|i more sjMritual side of language, which is to a greater ex- 


' ** Die richtung det denkens der neuzeit Ifiuft unverkennbar 
aiif monitmiit hinaot ** (Dm Darmnscks TktarU^ p. 8). 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


i \ 

tent subject to the free determination of the individ- i^:^ 

ual," and which is therefore to be treated by the liter- r^ 

SLvy student [derphiMoge) on the historical method^ \\^ 

In contrast to this view it must be asserted that there ^A - 

is only one method for the whole of the science of ]-} \ 

language, and that a separation of grammar into two ::i : 

divisions, treated independently of each other, has 
only been, and can only be, injurious to the right ^ 
understanding of linguistic phenomena ; for form and / 
meaning always influence each other to a d^ree 
unsuspected by readers of philological periodicals. ;,i: 

Fancy just for one moment a division of a dictionary ]^'. 

into two parts, one of them containing the forms of | 

words without the least r^ard to their significations, - ; 

and the other marshalling up nothing but the mean* i 

ings. But as syntax is nothing but the theory of , -A 
the functions, />., meanings, of the grammatical 'i! 

forms — this expression taken in its widest significa- 
tion, including also word-position and tones^it will 
be seen that many recent •* grammars on a compara- — 
ti ve basis " correspond only too closely to the first 
part of the supposed dictionary. And this one-sided- 
ness cannot possibly be conducive to scientific pro- 

102. (S3) The most important of Schleicher's dual- 
isms, however, is that of two periods of directly oppo- 
site tendencies, a prehistoric period of progress, 
evolution, or construction, and an historic period 
of retrogression, decay, or destruction. In opposition 
* Deutseki Spracks^ 119, lao. 

( : . 

ir • 

■!; • 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


i \>, 

i|:>l to this view we must assert that the moment of a 

nation's entering into history is of no consequence 
at all for the direction of linguistic change, wliich 
goes on in an essentially identical manner now and 
\ I in the days of old. If history has any influence at 

all on linguistic evolution, it seems to be only that 
of accelerating the movement along the same lines 
4 as before ; the languages of those nations whose lives 

i have been most agitated by historical events have 

gone farthest in evolution. Besides the more livel}* 
exchange, of thoughts, mixture of races^may count 
j^. here for much (see below, §§ 140, 143) ; an interesting 

ji contrast is that between the slow development of 

i^:; ' Lithuanian, which is rendered so precious to the 

t ] antiquarian philologist by the great number of old 

^^i; forms which it has kept, and the rapid evolution of 

ijj English, which on account of its great number of 

. directly observable changes is an inestimable mine 
to the philosopher of linguistic history. 
\ On the other hand, literature, which Schleicher 




^ x^ 


i ' places side by side with history, certainly, though 

>' perhaps not so powerfully as generally supposed, has 

; ' the eflect of retarding the tendencies of change in 

^j'^ language by keeping older forms alive for a longer 

.1^1 time than if language was only transmitted orally. 

H But these accelerating and retarding agencies have 

' no influence on the direction of change. 

^ ;« If the theory arrived at in the preceding chapters 

.^' is really and completely monistic, and requires us at 

f\: no point to assume any breach of continuity, it must 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 




also' throw some light on that vexed question, the 
origin of speech. I think it does, and it will be my 
task'in the last section of this book to show that ; but 
before venturing out into that chaos of grey theories, 
it will be well for some time still to continue studying 
the ''golden tree of life ** in the development of some 
special points of the English language. 




Digitized byVjOOQlC 


r: .4 

:, i» 

' i.; 





103« (54) The arrangement of inflexions current 
in grammars, according to which all cases i>f the same 
noun» all tenses, persons, etc, of the same verb, are 
grouped together as a paradigm, is not a truly 
grammatical one: what is common to Old English 
dag^ — dit^i — doges — dagas — daguvi — daga^ — for in- 
stance, is not the flexional element, but the word, or 
stem of the word ; the tie between all these forms, 
accordingly, is not of a grammatical, but of a lexical 
character. That such an arrangement may offer some 
advantages from a practical poiiit of view cannot, 
indeed, be denied ; but, on the other hand, it causes 
many things to be wrested from one another which 
belong together grammatically, /^•, the termination 
"Um^ which is common to the dative plural of all 
the flexional classes. Besides, it forces us to separate 
from one another the two parts of grammar which 
treat respectively of the forms of words and of their 
uses* In the latter, we must of needs deal with (say) 
all datives under one head, all genitives under 
another, and so forth, while in accidence these forms 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


are distributed according to declension classes. Such y . 

a disjunction, however, of accidence and syntax, • j.ji 

beyond what is strictly necessary, is doubtless in- 
jurious in every respect (cf. above, $ 101). At any 
rate, this paradigtHatic arrangement of grammatical 
phenomena will not answer the purposes of this 
chapter, where we seek to get as perspicuous a survey 
as possible of the grammatical forms of two distinct 
stages of one and the same language. 

104. (55) Many works of comparative philology, 
however, employ another arrangement. In this each 
case is dealt with more by itself, so that either 
(as in Schleicher's Compendium) the accusative 
singular, for example, is treated separately in each 
language, or (as in Brugmann's Grundriss) the mode 
of formation of one definite case in one definite class 
of nouns (i-stems, etc.) is followed out through all the 
allied tongues. According to this arrangement all 
those facts are brought into a single class which are 
related to one another from the point of view of a ^ 
student of comparative philology ; but, as an inevit- \vj ' 

able consequence, the survey of the fonns of any one :': 1 j 

language (or stage of language) is obscured; the ll. . {1 

unity of time and place is effaced ; arid, moreover, we ^^ ' 

get only a formal conception of the phenomena. The V \ 

morphological element has been brought to the . .; | 

front at the expense of the syntactical, which has to f \ ' I 

be treated in another section, so that the constant \\ \\\ 

reciprocal action of form and function is generally ' j / 

lost sight of. • I ^ 

i'- ! 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 






• r.t 

^ 1-i; 


-.1 ' 


.11 J . 


105. (56) Lastly, we come to that I will term the 
rjf purefy gramfiiatica/ Simaigement The grammar of a 

i^'.il language is, as it were, an answer to the question, 

What general means of expression does such and 
.%,j- such a language possess?^ Now, by the purely 

grammatical arrangement the methods of expression 
existing in a particular language at a particular time 
are tabulated in such a manner that those forms come 
. ;J ; together which are grammatically analogous. By this 

^ ^1 arrangement, forms which belong together from a 

ij i| dictionary point of view, e^g.^dag^ dagCy-^xt. wrested 

\:^,\ from one another, and the same may be tlie case 

;• I with forms which belong together historically, e^.^ 

s!] ' Old English nominative plural neuter hof-u and 
/ ' ;! word ; it is true that they were once formed with the 

same ending, but an Englishman of King Alfred s 
^ time could not possibly be aware of this point of 
agreement Clearly by this mode of treatment the 
individual element, by which I mean that which is 
peculiar to each language or to each successive stage 
of language, is brought more distinctly into view; 
we are^ moreover, enabled to survey the potentialities 
of development of each particular language : we see 
plainly where the differences between the various cases 
\i\ \ are so well marked that they can easily be kept 

distinct, and where they bear such a close resemblance 
to each other in form or function, or in both aUke, as 
to run the risk of being levelled and blended. 

In an ideal language it would be an easy matter to 

^; ' ^C£ Sweet, Words^LogUtmd Grammar ^ p. 31. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


J i 


carry out such an arrangement : since each modifica- 
tion of meaning would have its own expression, which 
would be constant for all cases and quite unambigu- 
ous, a sepMiration of accidence and syntax would bs 
precluded, ipso f€uto ; whether we should say, the 
genitival relation is expressed by -a, or -a denotes xj ; \ 

the genitive, would be quite immaterial. | ^ ) 

106. (57) Not so in the idioms actually existing ^ ' 

or recorded with their countless freaks of chance 
and capricious exceptions. In Latin, for example, -1 
sometimes denotes the genitive singular, sometimes 
the nominative plural, and if, conversely, we ask how 
the genitive singular is formed, the answer will be : 
now by -/, now by -w, etc. Consequently, we get two 
different modes of arrangement, according as we take 
as our base 

I. Analogies of form (such and such a termination ;| 

expresses such and such a meaning)— the fnorp/uh j 

&^Va/ classification, — \ 

or, ^ r 

II. Resemblances offunction (such and such a relation ! 
is signified by such and such terminations) — ^the [ ' 
syntactical classification. 

The two arrangements stand to one another as the 
two parts of a dictionary, in one of which the form 
(say, some (German or French vocable) is given, and 
the signification sought (in other words, the English 
equivalent is appended) : in the other, the meaning is 
the known quantity, and the appended part is the Ger- u « 

man or French term which was required to be known. !{ ; 

• ', 
' 1 J 


> ! 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

.'} !t 



14a PiiOGii£55 IN LANGUAGE. 

107. (58) Before attempting to give a synopsis, 
arranged upon these principles, of English - case- 
systems at different epochs of the grpxvth of the 

i.r language, I have to premise with regard to Old 

\ T En^ish that, as a matter of course, I shall have to 

ii ' give, in the main, West-Saxon forms, though for a 

' i '• \ thorough understanding of the historical process of 

..H p development of Standard English it would have been 

:'^ /. better if I had been in a position to avail myself of a 

.^ ' ; Mercian, or, still better, a London grammar represent- 

;* ! ing the language as spoken about the year 800. 

i^,[ Again, in stating the function, I shall have to be ver}' 

brief, and content myself with merely giving names, 
leaving it to the reader to understand by "dative" 
(for example) — not the notion of dative in itself, for 
l\\ . such a notion has no existence, but — ^ Old English 

dative "• For the particular use which English people 
of a thousand years ago made of their dative case, I 
must refer to the Old English syntax, which is, 
unfortunately, still to be written. In the present 
chapter I can give nothing but a skeleton-like scheme^ 
which does not aim at completeness. 

108. (59) It will not fail to meet with general 
jj approval that, in drawing up this scheme, I have 
sr followed Sievers's excellent Angelsdcksische Gram- 
\, , matik (2 Aufl., 1886). In accordance with my 
; ! general views, however, as stated above, I shall differ 
'^ .; from Sievers in paying much more regard than he 
'} ;. does to what would naturally appear to King Alfred 

and his contemporaries as the significant element in 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


^ In Old English h$r$ the kernel is kir$, but in witu it is win; 
ct dative pluntl hmi^um (written k$r$um, hmgum, etc), but 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


language: I shall have to separate word and case- 
ending, as far as this is feasible, in the same manner 
as the instinctive linguistic sense of that time would 
have done, regardless of the prehistoric condition of 
things. Old English ea^e, for instance, is historically, 
it is true, an /i-stem ; but for my present purposes iri 

I shall have to look upon it as consisting of ea^g^ + the. I ] 

nominative ending -/, the genitive being ea^ + an, and [ ! 

so on. We want a special term for this distinction ; >, 

and I propose to call the substantial part of the word, 
felt as such by the instinct of each generation as 
something apart from the ending (ea^ in the example 
chosen), the Jkenu/ of the word, while ea^an is the *; : 

historic "stem'\ No doubt, in some cases it will .U 

depend on a more or less arbitrary choice, how much J ' 

of the traditional form is to be treated as kernel and. \i' 

how much as ending. For instance, ei^e itself might *\\ 

be said to be the kernel, the genitive ending being -i», 
before which the e of the kernel is changed into a. ^ 
This division would, however, seem to be unnatural 
for Old English ; although so much must be granted, 
that in Middle English we must look upon eie (not 
n) as the kernel, to which the ending -h is affixed in 
the nominative plural.^ 

The fact is, that along with the perpetual wearing 
away of words there is often an alteration in the 
feeling as to the relations of kernel and ending. ' 


I ■ Y 

. i 


f:. : 

I- : I Now a little more, now a little less may be included 

' '; ; in one or the other, exactly as when one generation 

considers the sound-combination anaddert as consist- 
ing of tf -h naddere^ whilst the next looks upon it as 
an -h addere (Modem English, an ^^^r), or when mine 
uncle is transmuted into my nuncic. 
\[ 109. (60) It will be seen that if Old English eage 

*:'* ' is said to be an n-stem, what is meant is this, that 

^ : at some former period the kernel of the word ended 

J : in -n, while, as far as the Old English language 

;; : proper is concerned, all that is implied is that the 

]^ ' word is inflected in a certain manner. If, therefore, 

' t f in the following pages, I shall speak of n-stems, 1- 
\\\ stems, etc, it is only as designations for classes of 

-^ } I declension. It follows, however, from my view that 

|r \ : we are not properly entitled to put down, ^^., wj^rfii 

}\\ as an i-stem, for by doing so we should fail to give 

■'l\\ a true picture of the real condition of things in the 

Old English period If a modem linguist is able to 
see by the vowel-mutation (umlaut) that wyrm was 
an i-stem, an Englishman of that time could not 
have suspected any such thing, as the endings of the 
several cases of wyrm are identical with those of 
(the ^sterns, i^.) dom. When Sievers reckons wyrm 
among /-stems, or gives sigi as an es- ^-stem, he 
is writing for the benefit of those who take only 
a secondary interest in Old English grammar, and 
care chiefly for the way in which it reflects prehistoric 
{dienomena« He is thinking little of those other 
students who make the first object of their investiga-' 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

<^ . - 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

I *. 

tion the mutual relations of the facts of a language 
at a definite historical epoch, and who go to the t,:^ 

study of Old English partly for the sake of seeing ; ^ ^ 

the mechanism of this particular idiom as an organi- ^'*|/ 

cally connected whole, partly with a view to seeking Tl * 

in it the explanation of later developments of the [A: 

English language. it 

110. (61) In the succeeding tabulations the fol- ^ L 

lowing abbreviations are used :-r- f f .» 

n ^ nominative 

a = accusative 

d — dative 

i =s instrumental 

g ■■ genitive 

s =s singular 

p = plural 

m = masculine 

f —feminine ^i 

nt (or n) —I neuter n 

b =. words with original short (Met) syl- 


1 « words with original long syllable 

(long vowel or short vowel fol- 
lowed by long consonant) 

St = strong adjectival (pronominal) de- 


w == weak adjectival declension * 

«• =rare 



• N. 

J . 

rr f 

The declention of Adjectives and pronouns is only men- H ' 

tioned when deviating from that of nouns. i;| ' 

10 ,t 

«. . 

i T 




• \ 


E = early (Alfred inclusive) 

L rr late 

WS = special West Saxon 

N = North of England 

S = Sievers's Grammatik. 

Italicised letters indicate the stem (class of declen- 
sion) : — o (words like dom^ Iwf, word; by others 
termed ^-sterns), i, etc. ; ^—those consonantal stems 
which do not form part of some larger group, such as 
n^ K What is said about the ^-class applies likewise 
to the tcfi-stems with a long vowel or \ diphthong 
preceding the w (S, § 259), so that, in mentioning wA, 
I only mean those in which the w is preceded by a 
consonant (S, § 260) ; the yVf-stems are only referred 
to when they present deviations from the other A- 
stems (g p) ; abstr.^vfotds like strengu (S, § 279}. 
n a p n ^b must be read : nominative and accusative 
plural of neutral o-stems consisting of an originally 
short syllable 


\ 1 j IIL (62) The Old English language used the 

following formal means to denote case-relations : — 

(I) n a s. 0^0 (except Im), uv, 1 (l)f> ^ linf, r, nd, c 
mn, c If [dom hof word, here secg cyn(n) rice westen, 
beam seam (beadu), ben, feld bond, faeder modor, 
freond, fot scmd, boc].— Also Nib [wlit, S, § 263, 
anm. S]. . . 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

. . trnel without any addition^ 

• L superaeded by— ^. 
' L superaeded by ^ wm (^n). 

,;1 '■ . 

1^ ■ ■'- 

• 'V 


J * ■ i 

1 ^ '■ 

">' .'' 


(2) n s r. (not*, a s.) d 1, yVf (tad) [ar, sib(b) gierd 
(beadu) ] ; L also 1 (l)f [ben], -^ being used in a s. 

(3) d s. some o [(aet) ham, (to) d«i^ and a few 
more, S, § 237, anm. 2], of r only faedersweostor ; r. u 
If [bond] and s [dogor S, § 289] ; L ^ If [ac, etc, S, § 
284, anm. 2]. 

(4) gs. ^* [faeder broSor, etc.] ; r.Lu If [bond]. 

(5) n ap. ^ ln,yi> bn, «v, c n [word, cyn(n), seam, 
scrud] ; also, though not exclusively, some r [broSor 
dohtor* sweostor], nd [freond hettend], c m [haeleS 
monaC], s n [Iamb for lambru by a complete transition 
to the o-class]. 


U2. (63) —a. 
(I) n s m. « [guma ; N also f]; hub [suna]. 


i^ dura' honda^], also often 

S» § 25 5] ; also maeda, S, § 26a 

dura honda ; r. Im felda*J . ji 

1,^ f [dura » honda]; r. <^ Im 1 !;: ? 

- 1 Im r. [leoda]. — d [giefa* 'i, ' 

an perhaps fint in compounds ' )' 

ftuirr, 14 b, 136). f^;; 

his II dohtor, Cott. MS., his twa ; ; , 

f . 



III ^; " 

. i 

Digitized by Google ^'"^ ^ 


-4 f 




i: <♦ 


•' i i 

4' • -! 

1 j ara^]» also instead of -/ in 1 If and ^j/r. [bena, 

'=* I 1 strenga]. — And finally L ^ bn [hofa, S, § 237, anm. 5]. 

*i I (6) g p. wherever the ending is not -ana, -ena, -la, 

i f Ij see below [doma* hofa • worda,* her(i)g(e)a secg(e)a 

] i enda cynna ric(e)a westenna^ bearwa searwa, giefa^ 

r| j ara,' sibba gierda, beadwa maedwa, win(ige)a spera, 

r^ ! i| bena, suna felda dura honda (strenga?), fota scruda 

ll hnuta boca fsd(e)ra freonda] ; r. n [becistra, S. $ 276, 

anm. i]. -<i is also found in g p. in neutral adjectives 
when used as substantives [goda], Cosijn Altws* Gr.^ 

"i : ! iin § 49. 

U8.(64) — ^. 
' (On /for classical O. E. ^, see S, §§ 132 f, 237 anm. 2, 
;} I. 246 anoi. i» 252 anm. 1, 263 anm. i, 269 anm. 2.) 

>^r[' (i) n Im [ende], i bmn [wine spere] bf 

i* !i • [only dene*], yi< r. [-nisse -nysse, generally -nes], n 

'.iitj: nt [eage]. 

^\ jl (2) n s. If f [tunge*] ; N also r. m. 

(3) as. ^ [giefe are] ; aisir. [strenge] ; L alsoi If 

(4) d 0) s. (on the difference, between the older 
instr. in •/ (-/) and the dative in •ae^ see Sievers, P. B. 

' L tupeneded by •#. 

* N and L alto (-«fia)« •#!!«, ■ometimet alto •ma [lama]. 
'V '. * L superseded by -n. - 

^ . ,' I • ^ The tame difference between B and L at in • If teemt to 

< I ii hold with w4\\ cL Orotiut^ the older MS. (Laud, Sweet't ed^ 

I 1 ' 91, 15X gelice and mon mad mawe, the younger (Cott., Bos- 

,\ I 1 1 worth't ed., 51, 33), gelice and mon m«de mawe. Piatt, Anglia^ 

j !; vL, 177, knows only the ace. mmdi. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Biifr.^ viii., 324 f. ; in classical O. E., this distinction is \i' j 

no more found) — everywhere except u and n and the 4:; || 

rest of consonantic stems, where, however, -/ begins 

to crop up (S, §§ 273 anm« 2, 274 anm. i, 280 anm. 2, j| ' j 

281, 286). Accordingly -€ is found, /^., in [dome 

hofe worde, her(i)ge secge ende cynne rice westenne, 

bearwe searwe, giefe are, sibbe gierde, headwe i 

maed(w)e, wine spere, bene, strenge; felde for older f j 

felda, n dure nose ilore eage fote freonde]. — Also [ 

neutr. adj. used as substantives [gode] , Casijn^ ii., § 


(5) is. distinct from ds. only in some pronouns ^\ 
and J/ adj. [micle] ; it occurs comparatively seldom, ']] ^ 
see Cosijn, ii., §§ 38-48. | 

(6) gs. 4 (giefe are] , 1 If [bene] , abstr. [strenge] , ^ J • 
chi [hnute] If [burge boce, etc., used concurrently 
with mutated forms ; ace muse and others without r/' ' 

284, anm. i] ; r. u { [dure S, § 274, \\> 


)m [wine* -ware], Im a few words U 

ene*j, thence also d [giefe arc] ; si i j - 

so nd polysyllables [hettende, besides '\l ' 

d s. og n a p. r bf [hnyte] . 

U4. (6$) —u. 

►• §§ 134 f, 237 anm. 4 and 5, 249, 252, ^ J 

I S» 279.) :i ; 

[sunu duruj ; d b [giefu], abstr. \\ 

[hnutu]. ^'i 

* Superseded by hu. • Alto -a. i \ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

:' ^ 

.: i' 

y- ■■' 

*t I 


(2) as. » b [sunu duru] ; L ^ b and adstr., S, $$ 
253 anm. 2, 279. 

(3) ds. » b [sunu duru ; generally -a^,^ b and 
aistr. as in (2). 

(4) g s. L ^ b and aisir. as in (2). 

(5) napn. o b [hofu ; L also 1 : wordu, see on 
polysyllabics, S, $ 243] ,jo 1 [ric(i)u] and polysyllab. 
[westen(n)u], (wo: u for -tew, seam), 1 b [speru], 
similarly st b which have however often -e from m 
[hwatu] . 

napmfitf b L [sunu duru] ; r [broOru dohtru» 
which form also other plurals] . 

(6) (i s. horu Elene 297 from horh.) 

} i' 116. (66) —urn. 

i^l i (i) ds. St. []?iosum, godum]. — ? miolcum, heaf- 

['I A dum» see Kluge, Pau/s Grundr., i., 386. 

'IJ ;. (2) dp. everywhere [domum hofum wordum, 

' jij her(i)gum secg(i)um endum cynnum ric(i)um westen- 

I ij numbearwumsearwum,giefumarum,sibbumgierdum» 

^ ! j< nearwum, winum sperum Englum, benum, sunum 

I ,M feldum durum hondum, gumum^ tungum eagum, 

strengum, fotum hnutum bocum, faed(e)rum, freon- 
! ,:: dum, lombrum L lambum]. 

'li On -an, -on for -um see § 1 16. 

(i) d 8. pron. [him Saem hwaem] . 

(2) dp. in some words after a vowel, for -um 

> R •num s oxnum, nefenuniy 8, { 277, anm. x. 

Digitized by LjOOQiC ^ 



[cneom beside cneowum, S, $ 250, nr. 2 ; fream, etc, !/ 

S, § 277, anm. 2], numerals [twaem >rim] . A 

lie. (67) — ^(— iwi). y 

(1) d g s. and n a p. « [guman tungan eagan] . !^ 

(2) a s. « m. and f. [guman tunganj . H ' 

(3) n s. L weak adj. ^^ L 

(4) for 'Um L. | 

(5) gp. r. L [eastran, S, § 276, anm. i ; Weak adj. :f 
§304, anm. 2]. i:: 

-n . ij; 

for -an in some words after a vowel [frean, etc., S, jf ^ 

§ 277, anm. 2 ; beon tan, S, § 278, anm. 2] • "* 

U7. (68) —€na [N«»tf]. 
g p » [gumena tungena eagena] ; L also in o and 
Ay especially b [carena, S, § 252, anm. 4], notjA. 
— fta. 
g p in a few words [sceona, etc, S, § 242, anm. 2, 
N treona, § 250, nr. 2 ; Seaxna, etc, % 264 ; n 1 after 
r and g : larna eagna, § 276, anm. 1, oxna, § 277, anm. 
I, gefana Sweona, § 277, anm. 2]. 
118. (69) —ne. 
asm. pron. [hi(e)ne jK)ne )>i(o)sne hwone] and st 
[godne] . 


119. C70) —as. ;t / 

n p m. ^ [domas] ,jo fher(i)g(e)as endas] , wo [bear- ! ; 

was],« 1 [feldas], r only fsderas; becomes more- i) \ 

over frequent in 1 [winas] , u b [sunas], nd [also -ras : f |{ '■ 

wcaldendras, S, § 286, anm. 2} U 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





? .' 

..« J, 


V (Gs. in -as r.; perhaps Beowulf9 63, 2453,2921.) 

; I 120. (71) — ^. 

(i) gsmn. o [domes hofes wordes],^i?.[her(i)ges 

sec^;es endes rices westennes], uw [bearwes searwes], 

[ ^ u 1 [feldes], km/ [freondes hettendes], c m [fotes] ; -es 

\ - V becomes frequent in 1^ b [sunesj , n [eages eares], r 

(, . [fsderes] ; N also in most other stems. 

(2) n a p. for -as L, S, § 237, anm. 3. 

g s. very rare : eas (Oros., 17, 23 ; CAron., 896, 918, 
919, 922) cus, S, 284, anm. 4, saes, S» § ^266, anm. j 
(also nap). 

.4 •: 12L (72) — m. 

r^j r; gp. pron. [hiera (heora) )>ara], st. [godra], mi 

j^i : ; polysylL [hettendra] ; ^ = r + a : s n [lombra cealfra, 

. i *• j ' etc ; dldra also in texts which in n p have cild] . 

I, gdsfpron. Quaere )?isre], st [godre] . 

napn s Qomber, see Schmidt, Pluralb.f i49i 
y \ lombru ^ 

d pn X in the same words as -ru. 

might be considered a case-ending in haeleC, monaS, 
ealoS, dgs^nap; but the words are generally inflected 

t .1 '. 


I (;• * Alto the numeralt tweg(r)a Jnreora. 

* Supenedol by — , (•at). 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



_____^___ V? • 


122. (73) I'fHUtatioH ^ 

is the only one of these changes which becomes a 
case-sign, namely in f^ 

(I) ds. ^ [fet» te> men(n), bee* byr(i)g, ie,* etc.]. 



r [breCer meder dehter] , nd [friend *]. U ^ 

(2) g s. r If [bec,« etc, ie •], r r. f [meder dehter} ^ ' 

(3) nap. r [fet tej? men(n), bee ges byr(i)gl mi ^ 
[(riend»]. ;:' 

Frequent in pron. [ic— me— wit— unc— us, etc. ; 
sc — jK)ne, etc.]. 

123. (74) Those were the means used in Old 
English to denote case-relations ; but we have not in 
our lists mentioned all the changes undergone by 
Old English words, for alongside of these significa- 

nd a great many others which do ^ 

t in distinguishing cases. I shall 

5 most important of these incidental """ ,) 

in isolated cases of i s. ^ [hwene, 

aene, S, § 237, anm. 2] , in d s. r bf [hn)rte] and r. u '[ 

[dyre]. Where the i-mutation is found through 'f» 

all cases as in cynn, it does not concern us here. if 

^ Unmutated forms are alto used : fete boo, etc. ; as for ea, 

note, e^^ Oros., L. 14.28, from \>mTe ie« C, from >ere i ; 

ea ; L. 174.3, neah anre ie ■* C. 84.3a, neah anre ea. i' ^ 

'Also unmutated forms: boce etc.; cl Orat^ L. 16.6 ie« ^J 

C.ia36ea. ■'/ 

' Also unmutated freond. f - 1 


r i 

*• ': 





^ ••. 


: ;)• 




• a •■ 

1- :• 


'^ i" 


' .-.' [ 


- % 1 










■'* . 


' *■■. 1 

.i* . 

? --4 i^< 




• ■ • • 



•* I J* 


V .' 



J / 



■ ^\ 

t ***f 




■ i 


(2) U-mutation, ^ n a d p n [gebeodu from gebed ; 
it disappears at an early period, leaving perhaps but 
one trace, in the diflerentiation of dij^ and deive, see 
Murray's Diet, and my Studier aver Engelske Kasus, 
S IS>8J ; other instances of u-mutation, see S, {{ 
241, 253, anm. i, Cosijn^ ii., p. 3 (cneoht) ; comp. also 
cucu, cwices, Sievers, P. B. Beiir., ix., 259. 

(3) Interchange of a and a, found with greatest 
phonetic rq^larity in st. adj. [hwaet, hwates hwatej, 
while in the nouns (of the ^-class) a is carried through 
in the singular and a in the plural [daeg, dxges— 
dagas]. After a palatal consonant we have the 
peculiar change seen in geat, gatu, which is by-and-by 
levelled out in different ways. Note also gaers, 
grasu. For the still more complicated change in 
magu maecge(s), plural nue<^a(s) magum, see Kluge, 
IMeraturblaiif. gertn. u. torn. Philol.^ 1889, 134, and 
Paul's Grundriss^ i., 368. 

i\\ !!: (4) Interchange of long <r and long a : maeg, magas ; 

in 2n aenne, long a and short a interchange. 

(5) Interchange of single and double consonant : 
cyn, cynnes, S, § 23 1 ; in the nominative cynn is also 
found, and it is not easy to see if the diflerence is 
only a graphical one or indicates a real difference in 
pronunciation. There is a tendency to utilise the 

j' difference for sense-distinguishing purposes in fnann, 

" man,** and //loif, corresponding to French kotntta^ 

#«, or still more closely to Danish mand^ fntm^ see 

£:#i;^W, ii., p. 47. 

{ I ^ - (6) Interchange between final voiceless and medial- 

•i r.i 

'* '■' ' Digitized by Google ^ 

3 ,' 



Digitized byVjOOQlC 

voiced consonants : wulf, wulvcs (written wulfcs), hus, 5 I 

hure (written husc), baB> batfas ; see my Studier ot^r ^. ; 

lingilske Kasus, %\9i^* - -t 

(7) The related interchange between A and ^: beah, ^ . 

beages; h also interchanges with w\ horh, horwes, f/ . 

the adj. ruh, ruwes (old ••grammatical change," ^ .- 

determined by Vemer's law), and finally there is s% ' 

often an interchange between A-forms and forms with ,1' -^ 

no consonant, but with contractions and perhaps j i 

lengthening of the vowel : furh, furum (? furum), ,V 

.sc(e)oh, sc(e)os, feoh, dative, feo. Here we very '^, 
often see levellings, the A-less form being as a rule 

(8) Interchange between forms with and forms 
without w\ treo, treowes, later on levelled both 
ways : treo, treos ; treow, treowes ; compare also 
sna(w), S, §§ 174, nr. 3, 250, anm. i. The forms are 
differentiated in ae •'law'* and aew ••marriage," S, § 
269, anm. 3. 

(9) Interchange between e or 1, u or o and the [{,' 
corresponding vowel-like consonants/ and w : here, | ^ 
herias, herigas, hergeas, herigeas; bearu, bearwas (L jl}} 
bcaruw, bearu was). rp 

(10) Interchange between the advanced and jY 
palatalised open^ in daeg and the back open ^ in ' * t : 
dagas ;* so also byrig, burgum. In the latter word .' : 

' The two consonants corresponded probably to the Danish * j 




sounds of fi^cr and 6^c respectively ; see my description in \l\ 

ArticHlatiotu of Speech Sounds (Marburg, 1889), § xo6, and in 
Dania (Copenhagen, 2890), voL i., p. 5a, nr. 50, and p. 53, nr. 56. 




! ■'J 


we have four sound changes : (a) the vowel of the 
principal syllable ; (i) the vowel of the svarabhakti- 
syllable, which is also often left out ; (c) the voiceless 
and voiced consonants, see above sub 6 and y;(d)tht 
palatalised and unpalatalised consonants. 

(11) Vowel change in unstressed syllables, due to 
an old gradation (ablaut) : -ung, ingum (S, § 255, 
anm« i ; see however Cosijn^ ii., pp. 21, 23); broOor, 
breSer ; morgen, mergen ; see, for instance, Oros.^ L. 
194, 12, on mergence. 92, 40, on morgen.^ 

(12) Interchange between a full vowel in final 
syllables and a weakened one in the middle of the 
word : rodor, rodcras, S, \ i2g. 

' (13) Interchange between preserved and omitted 
weak vowel : engel, engles ; deofel, deofles ; sec 
especially S, § 144. At a later period this leads some- 

\) ::| times to a diflerentiation of consonants, pointed out for 

'•; ! engel by Napier, see the Academy^ March 15, 1890, p. 

^!J!:, 188. 

' • (14) Interchanging vowel quantity is probable 

.' j ; ; before many consonant groups ; an indubitable case 

^; I ! : in point is did, cildru. 

? ,' I ; 124. (75) A comparison of Old English with Proto- 

': ^ I Arian will show that a good many case-endings have 

{ i been given up, and that similarly the change of accent 

f >. ' and that of vowels (by gradation) have disappeared 

r' from the declension; nor does the Germanic inter- 

v^ ;! change of consonants according to Vemer's law play 

■^ \ , '; > With regard to mergtm tee, however, Sievera, in P. B. B«^n 

I ;' viii., p. 331, against Paul, tfrtil., vL, 242. 

■'\.\ ■ 

l^'l ■ ■ Digitized by Google 


y '1 

my part in the declension (compare, however, § 

123, 7 and 1 1).* Wherever the Old English language >; 

shows traces of these phonetic changes, it is always . ^ 

90 that one form has been carried through in all \ \ : 

cases, so that the other is only shown by the corre- t / ^ 

sponding word in other connected languages, or by f 

other derivatives from the same root. See on these [^ .- 



traces especially Joh. Schmidt in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, 
xxvi., p. 8 fT., and PluralbiUungen der idg. Neutra^ \ 

passim ; Kluge in Kuhn's Zeitschr,^ xxvi*, p. 92 flf. ; .^ 

and in Paul's Grundriss^ i., p. 387 f 

125. (76) It is of greater importance to our subject 
to examine the extent in which cases which were dis- K 

tinguished either at an earlier stage of the language ) 

or in other Old English words, have coalesced in one :\ 

and the same word. Such coalescence of cases is found 
very frequently, though sometimes the form which 
is identical with that used in another case is not the 
only one in use for that particular case. 

(i) a s, » n s. in all words except (a) A [giefu ar, 
accusative giefe are]; from this class the distinction is 
transferred to 1 1 [ben, bene, instead of the older ben, 
ben], while on the other hand the late O. E. levelling, 
by which for instance lufu comes to be used through 
the whole of the singular, obliterates the distinction. 
{b) n mf [guma tunge, accusative guman tungan]. 
{f)pron. and st. mf. 

(2) ds. SB n a s. : (a) in som^ o-stems in certain 
connexions [ham, etc, see § in, 3 J also treo and 
^Compare also s^iTn, tiupu ; tee Sievert, P. B. Butr.^ ix., 249. 




Digitized byVjOOQlC 


-. .1 




f • 

* , 





similar words. (*) yi^ 1 [ende rice], (c) i mnb [wine 
spere]. (d) u b [suna and sunu ; duru]. (/) faeder 
sweostor ; also L r ac hoc, etc. 

(3) ds.=:as. besides the words mentioned under 
(2) : H mf [guman tungan]. 

. (4) instr. = dative everywhere except in somtpron, 
and St ma, even there not strictly distinguished. 

(5) g s. ai- n s. : r [faeder broSor, etc], r // bm [suna]. 

(6) g s. = a s. : rf, yVf, wd [giefe are sibbe gierdc 
beadwe maBd(w)e], n mf [guman tungan], r [faedcr, 
etc.] ; L I If [bene], u bm [suna]. 

(7) gs.«— ds.: d,jd, wd; 1 If [bene], u [suna dura 
/ honda, r. felda], // mfn [guman tungan eagan], c If 

[bee, etc], r [only faeder sweostor], pron. f [hiere 

^aere ]>isse )>isre], j/. [godre]. 
|"5 !r ;, (8) n p. "— n s, : ^ In [word], jo bn [cynn], tew n 

}\] j: [searu], 1 bm [wine], u bm [suna and sunu], u bf 

^1! !; i [duru], r : broCor dohtor sweostor, nd [freond hettcnd} 

;' , , (9) np. = as. besides those under (8): h mf 

[guman tungan], L also d [giefe, are], Jd [sibbc 

gierde], tvd [beadwe maed(w)e], 1 If [bene]. 
? • '. (10) np.-uds.: I bm [wine], 1 If [bene],itf [suna 

r , and sunu, felda dura honda], n [guman tungan eagan], 

v ■ , ; c [fet hn}rte bee] , r : sweostor, ftd [friend hettende]; 

]i . j[ t also L the f mentioned in the end of (9). 

'^^ ; ; (1 1) n p. =5 instr. a. : st. m [godc] • 

i J ^; • (12) np.«=g8. : <^ [suna felda dura honda], f* 

* ] L^ ^ [guman tungan eagan], ^ If [bee], r: broSor dohtor 

j I .; . sweostor; L the same words as in (9) and (10); 

finally L m when, -es came to be used for -as. 

Digitized byCjOQQlC 

^i '■ 



h i 


r . 

(13) ap. = np., so that the numbers (8-12) apply fK 
also to ap; the only exceptions are: we — us(icX I 
ge— cow(ic), ^^ 

(14) d p. » d s. : pron. [)>aem ]>i(o)sum], j/. [godum], 2\: 
also weak adj. [godan] , S, § 304, anm. 3. 

.(<5) SP« " nas. : <^ bm L [sunaj. 

(16) gp. a ds. : u [suna felda dura honda]. 

(^7) gp* " gs. : II [suna felda dura honda]. 

(18) g p. - nap. 4 [giefa ara],yVf [sibba gierda], 
tvd [beadwa maed(w)a], 1 If [bena], u [suna felda 
dura honda] , r : dohtra. 

126. (77) This list, which does not include indc- 
clinabilia like strepigu^ .shows that the chances of 
mistakes were pretty numerous in Old English 
declensions. Take the form suna ; it may be any 
case, except only dative plural ; sunu is everything 
except genitive (singular and plural) and dative 
plural; dura is everything except nominative, ac- 
cusative singular and dative plural ; fader may be 
any case in the singular ; so also stveostor, which may 
moreover be nominative or accusative plural; the 
only thing we can affirm on such forms as gutnan or 
tungan is that they are neither nominative singular, 
dative plural, nor genitive plural, and in a late text 
we cannot even be sure of that, and so on. 

!•. f 





127. (78) In the following survey of the manners i\ ft 

in which the 9>rntactic cat^ories are expressed in . ^jl • i 

Old English, I have not found it necessary to indicate ^ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



in each case which stems had each ending, as I should 
then have had to repeat much of what has been said 
above. A dash denotes the unchanged- kernel ; -a 
denotes the kernel with an a added to it ; + means 
the mutated, or otherwise changed kernel ; the most 
frequent forms or endings are printed in black type, 
the rare forms or endings are put in ()• 
Norn. jr^. — ; -a, -c, -u, (-an). 

// -M, — , -an, -a, -e, -u, +. (-ru, -es^ (-n, +c). 
Ace sg. — , -e, -u, -an, -ne, (-a, -n). 

//: -at, — , -an, -a, -e, -u, +, (-ni, -es), (-n, 
Dai. {instr.) sg. -e, -an, -re, +, — , -um, (-m, -a, -u, 
-n, -a), (+ e). 
pi. -um, (-an, -m, -n, -rum). 
Gett. sg. -61, -Ian, -e, -re, -h, (-a, -n), (— , -s, -u). 

//. -a, -ena [-ana], -ra, (-na), (-an). 
128. (70) The Old English language has no ex- 
pressions for the following syntactic categories, whidi 
were found in the Arian parent speech : (i) the dual 
number ; the only exceptions are wit, unc{ii), unar 
and git, inc(ti\ inur ; the nouns duru, nosu, and 
inosU in which traces of the old dual have been 
found by comparative philologists, were no doubt 
during the whole of the Old English period, and per- 
haps even much eariier, felt as singulars, and sculdr* 
as a plural ; (2) the vocative case, unless one feels 
inclined to consider the use of the definite form of the 
adjective in Itofafreand, etc, as a sort of vocative.* 
« See Ratk, Da GimU Nordiski S^rogi Oprindslu, p. s^S- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



• t i ' 

Finally, three or four cases have coalesced to form i '/ 

the Old English dative, the old instrumental being, i 

however, in some words distinct from the dative. *; ^ i] 

I *; 

¥ ■ 

129. (8o) I now pass to a similar survey of the case- ^^ ; ^ 

relations and their expression in MODERN ENGLISH, ^j ;^ i 

and must at once declare that I shall deal only with ^:: I 

the really spoken language, taking no account of what ^ j' > 

belongs only to the written language, /^., the distinc- f.\: . 

tions made between I'- Ji 
gen. sg.king^s nom. pi. kings gen. pi. kings^ 
lady's ladies ladies\ 

The' three forms sound alike, and the systematic 
diflerence now made between them is quite recent. 
Before the middle of the eighteenth century they were 

all of them written alike ; thus we find for instance ^ j 
in the original editions of Shakespeare, Kings, ladies, • 

for the three cases. The apostrophe was at that time _ 1 , 

used (without any regard to case-function) where a }}} ' 

syllable was added in pronunciation {Tkoma^s), or ;| f , 

where the spelling-^ was still commonly used, the ^yi 

apostrophe being then used to indicate that no new '- ; ^ 

syllable was to be pronounced (compare the modem [M: 

spelling stabb'd)] in Shakespeare you will find,^., \{\ ■ 

earth's as a genitive singular and pre/s as a nominative i , \ 

plural. Sometimes the apostrophe is even in our ; ;' 

days used before the plural ending; thus in Shake- j L; 

Raik's identification of the ending ^ in Danish gode gud with fi ' ^ 

the Latin and Greek vocative ending is, of course, wrong, but 
that does not make his syntactical observation less correct 


Digitized by Google * (j ^ 




speare's Twelfth Night (ii., 5, 96) the spelling " her 
very Cs^ her ITs^ and her Ts^* is kept unchanged in 
modem editions ; and the same manner' of spelling 
may be found also in proper names, especially when 
they are not familiar to English readers (Hrolfs^ in 
f Carlyle» Heroes^ 29) ; similarly in fly^s (carriages) as 

opposed to the more familiar flies ; compare also the 
Spectator^ Na 80, where Steele speaks of the manner 
in which people use "their who^s and their whidus^} 
Conversely the apostrophe is not written before every- 
\ \ ^ I s denoting the genitive : whose^ iis^ hers^ yours being 

I , the received spelling, while it is true that some people 

* • ' " ' \ynX& het^s 9LnA your^s. 

\ i ,: In dealing with the forms of the spoken language 

'}; * I shall, however, for convenience' sake give them in 

(\ . ^ their usual spelling, though it would, of course, have 

.'::;, been more consistent had I written all my examples 

-j ^; phonetically. The abbreviations will be the same as 

in the Old English section, as far as they are needed ; 

;. j • " a/' oieans the modem accusative, dative, or common 

yl ' ' oblique case {him^ etc); '^abs." stands for the 

r • V| absolute form of the possessive pronouns (mine^ etc.) 


180. (81) A. The kernel of the word unchanged. 

1^' (i) nas. in all words; as exceptions might be 

i '-\ ' , mentioned those few pronouns which have separate 

' I i ' forms for the accusative (mi/, mt, him^ her^ ihem). 

• 11 

'Cf. also Alford, Th$ Quern* t English, p. is. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


li '■■. 


I. -r 

(2) nap. (a) you. (Jk) sheep and deer} (c) the 
ordinary compounds of -man^ gentleman andgentlemen 
being pronounced alike ; so postmen^ poliunun^ etc. 

{d) some words ending in -s [z]: ^^., nuans, species. 1 

(r) many words are unchanged in the plural in ).; ; 

special connexions, especially after numerals and \Vl ^ 

collectively : six pair of gloves ; twenty-three snipe ; :\ 

people, fowl^fish^ cattle^ etc. . :; , 

13L (82) B. The ordinary s ending. \^\ 
(that is: the sounds -iz added to a sibilant [s, z, sh, '«. 
2h]; li- 
the sound -s after a voiceless non-sibilant ; iil;,i 
the sound -z after a voiced non-sibilant) \\ \ 
(a) g s. in all nouns and some pronouns : princ/s, !| ^' 
duk^Sf king^s, whose^ somebody s. ^2 ; 
if) nap. in the majority of nouns and some j « 
:es^ dukes^ kings ^ somebodies. \ ; 
e same words as under [p\ if the g p. 32 
used : prince^ ^ duke^^ king^ {some- — jj ^1 

\ ending denotes the idea of genitive ^\[ 

irala which are not formed by the 
men*s, genlletnen^s, duldreris. 
ours ^y ours ^ hers^ theirs. 
Other endings. 


; comp. bXso pence ^ halfpence. 



mon plural in •$ seeins also to gain ground ; [. p 

umy once told me that he had often heard % 

ind once in Shakespeare, Lov^i L. L., ii., 219 ;' | 

Ai j: ( 

Digitized by Google *"' 


*- f 

r : -n. 

< > (tf) n a p. in oxen. 

-* t (d) abs. in /iriVr^. — 

133. (S4) D. Change in the kerneL 
(i) without any ending. 
- I nap.: men, tuofHen, geese, teeth, feet, mice, lice. 

The plural forms tluse and those might be mentioned 
here or perhaps better under (3), as -se [z] is felt as 
T t a sort of plural ending. 

^1' (2) with the ending --ren (or -n). 

nap. duldren {brethren), 
- (3) with the -J ending. 

, na(g)p. wives (and wivei) and others in/; /d(///j 
'' and others in th, houses, the change in the kernel 

* J . consisting here in the substitution of the voiced for 

the voiceless sound.^ 
'1 As an ulterior case in point might be mentioned 

the frequent omission of the )?- sound in such plurals 
as months, sixths, elevenths, etc. In words ending 
in ^nd the plural is frequently pronounced without 
:' 1 the rf: soun(d)s, etc. We are perhaps allowed to 

consider Shakespeare's rhyming downs and hounds 
'] together ( Venus and Ad., 677) as an early instance 

j .of this pronunciation. 
, I (4) an entirely new kernel 

.! is finally used to distinguish cases in some pronouns : 

f I, fue, we, us, etc 

'In siaff-'-^tavst we have the same consonantal change 
combined with a change of the vowel sound, but the modem 
^ M language tends to make two regular words out of the one 

irregular: sUff'^siaffs, and ttavi-'-iiavM. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


134. (85) Coalescence of formerly distinct cases is 
found very extensively. j . 

n a p. = n a s. in the words mentioned above, A 2. * 

g p. = g s. consequently in nearly all the same \ 


The three cases : gen. sg.^ nam, (and acc^ //., and • 'J 
gen, pl.^ have become identical in nearly all words, so 
that you can very soon enumerate the very few words ^ \ 

in which they differ from each other, namely : — j 

All the three cases are different : chiUts^ dtildren^ 
children's ; similarly with tnan, woman, and finally r. 

with a few words where the gen. pi. is, however, ^' 

scarcely used at all : toothy goose^ inouse^ louse; dice^ 
pence^ oxen ; compounds on the model of son-in-law 
would belong here if genitive plurals, like sons-in- . V 

lav/s^ were not universally avoided. ,, 

gs. different from nap., which is identical with g ' [ 

p. : wif^s, wives, wive^ and the other word mentioned 
under D 3. '^ 5 

The two genitives are different from the two nom- 1 

inatives in the nouns mentioned under A 2. ,: 

136. (86) A comparison with Old English will 
show that all the vocalic and most of the nasal case- ;:, 

endings have been abandoned; the changes of the \V 

kernel have been considerably limited so that more 
l)articularly those which were not in theniselves 
sufficient to distinguish cases have been given up; 
further we see that one difference, which was unknown 
to Old English, has been made subservient to case- 
distinguishing purposes (O. E. genitive wulfes, nomina- 



Digitized byVjOOQlC 


I tive plural wulfas^ both of them pronounced with v ; 

modem, wolf*s^ wohes), and finally the provinces of 
the unchanged kernel and of the s form have* been 
very considerably extended. 


136, (87) 
\ Na.8g.: — 

J pi.: -t.+,(-n,— ). 

> G e n. s g. : -% poss. pron. 

^ p L : -s, + s, (-ns) ; poss. pron. 

Here, as in a few places above, I have silently 
- omitted the exceptional forms of the personal pro- 
187. (88) A comparison with Old English will here 
. show that — apart from a few pronouns, which dis- 
tinguish a nominative and an objective case — ^the old 
nominative, accusative, dative and instrumental cases 
have coalesced to form a common case, which shows 
moreover a few traces of the fact that the old genitive 
; plural grew to be formally identical with the common 

case of the singular number {e^^ a twopenny stamp, a 
, five pound note). 

) ! 

138. (89) The question naturally arises, How has 
it come about that the Old English system of declen- 
sions has been so completely metamorphosed ? Is it 
possible to point out any single cause as the effectual 
agent in bringing about this revolution ? 


by Google 



An answer which has been given often enough, and 
which is ofTered by some scholars even now, was 
formulated by one of the foremost masters of the 
historical science of language as follows : — 

" Any violent mixture of two languages is against 
nature, and results in a rapid destruction of the forms ^5 

of both. When a great mass of French words rushed 
in upon the English language, few if any forms passed .^; 

over to its grammar, but the Saxon forms suddenly \\\ 

collapsed, because they did not agree with the ne^* : |. 

roots, and because the genius of the language was led \\ 

by the crude employment of the foreign material to 
n^lect the native flexion. • . . This rapid sinking f ^; 

from the more perfect Anglo-Saxon forms ... is ■' ' 

easily explained by influence from Danish cmd 
Norfftan-French. According to a universal and r\ 

natural law, where two different tongues come in I* j> 

collision, grammatical forms are lost One of the ^, !. 

most important consequences was the thorough intro- — T ; 

duction of ^ in all plurals, which agrees with French » - ; 

usage and is not entirely unknown to the Saxon p ^ 

grammar."* ! i^~! 

139. (90) Such an influence from Norman-French, ^j'i 

however, is contradicted by various considerations, j: i; 

partly of a general, partly of a special nature. It . i^,^ ; ■ 

would, indeed, have been at least imaginable, supposing f' ; ^ 

' Grimm, D$utuk$ GramnuUik^ I (1819X pp. xxxii. and lyy-xyS. 
So also Madvig, KUim pkUoU SditifUn^ 27; Barle, Pkiioioiy 
^f ihe BngL Tougus^ xst ed., p. 41 ; BUe, BngUMcfu PhiiolcgU, 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


that the two constituent elements of the population^ 
the French-speaking and the English-speaking, had 
been co-equal in numbers. But this was not.the case. 
Moreover, it is admitted that the vast majority of the 
conquered people spoke English and never learned 
to speak French ; they were not, therefore, exposed 
to having their sense of the grammatical structure of 
their native dialects impaired by commixture with 
foreign modes of speech. And, where influence from 
the foreign idiom could not be avoided, it must have 
taken place essentially in the same manner as Frendi 
and English influence each other at the present day^ 
by the adoption, that is, of single words, which are 
then incorporated, substantially, into the native system 
of grammar.^ Just as a modem Frenchman inflecU 
the loan-words leader, sport, in accordance with the 
^^ laws of his own language, and turns the English verb 
^^'^ sUfiinto stopper (stofpant, etc.), — just as, when some 
composite expression passes into his language, he does 
not shrink from forming such a derivative as j/rnrg^/f)- 
/or^(feur(DB.\xdet\ — precisely in the same manner did 
the English peasant act when he caught up a word 
from the courtly speech of the Normans. Quite 
instinctively he affixed to it his own terminations 
without trQubling himself for a moment whether they 
would or would not •• agree, with the new roots *•. 

140. (91) But, whilst the Norman Conquest ex- 
erted no iUrect influence on English girammatical 

' CL Murray, Tk$ Bngk Lmngungif in the Bn^cl. BrU^ viiL, 

l"! \''/: ••• Digitized by Google 



structure, there can be no doubt that it went far 

to accelerate the development of change indirectly. 

This was principally due to the fact that England 

was for some centuries without that retarding and 

conservative influence which will always make itself 

felt wherever cultivated classes speaking a " refined '* 

speech exist side by side with a proletariat whose Yi. 

linguistic peculiarities are branded as vulgarisms, or \\\ 

as downright solecisms. Any such control as comes ;< i 

from an upper class whose more old-fashioned Ian- v\ 

guage is looked upon as a model, and, partly at least, \^ ''. 

imitated by the lower classes, was precluded at the 

period we are speaking of, inasmuch as the upper 

classes did not speak English, or, at best, spoke only 

bad English. In consequence of this, not only was 

the literary tradition of the English language lost or re« 

duced to a minimum, but even in its oral transmission, 

which is always the more important matter, and was 

especially so then, one element was wanting which 

generally assists in stemming the tide of revolutionary 


141. (92) If now we look at the only detail in 
English accidence for which a Norman descent is 
claimed (namely, the plural -s '), some remarks will 

* Even Sayce says, Iiitrod. toScof L., L, 17a : ••The great 
extension of the English plural in •!, confined as it was in 
Anglo-Saxon to a comparatively few words, seems due to 
Norman-French influence**. The same view is taken by 
Strong, Acadtmy, Oct. 30, 1893''; cf. also the correspondence 

m the following numbers of that paper between Napier, Earle } { 

andmyselt ($ 

' 1 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


have to be made which perhaps have not been all 
propounded before. 

(i) The growth of the plural -s cannot be separated 
from that of -s in the genitive case. Now the latter 
gained ground even more rapidly and extensively 
than the plural -s^ and French influence is here utterly 
unimaginable. Why, then^ resort to it with r^;ard 
to the other ending ? 

(2) The plural in -x was long before the Conquest 
extended to many nouns which had formerly had 
other endings, belonging to the i- and u^ classes, as 
also to some of the consonant stems (wyrfnas^ winas, 
SHfios^ haUias, etc, see § 1 19). This shows that the 
tendency of the language would have been the same 
even if William the Conqueror had never crossed the 

(3) -S became universal in the North at an earlier 
date than in the South, where we should expect to 
find French influence strongest, but where •en seems 
for a long time to have had better chances of pre- 
vailing in all nouns than -^. 

(4) In Old French -s was not used to the same ex- 
tent as now as a plural ending ; indeed, it can hardly 
be called a plural sign proper, as it was in the most 
numerous and important class of nouns the sign of 
the nom. ^. and of the ace. pL, but not of the 
nom. pL If, therefore, an Englishman of (say) the 
thirteenth century used the -^ in the nom. pi., he was 
in accord with the rules of his native tongue, but not 
with those of French. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


(5) If -s was due to the Normans, we should expect 
it in the plural of the adjectives as well as of nouns ; 
but, as a matter of fact, adjectives take it extremely 
rarely,^ and hardly except in those cases where a 
Romance adjective is placed after its noun. Every- 
where else, Middle and Modem Eng^lish adjectives 
have no -s in plural, agreeing therein with the old 
native tradition, but not with French grammar. 

(6) And, finally, it is worth noting that the two 
endings, Norman s without any vowel, and English 
-€s (originally -as) with the vowel pronounced, were 
kept distinct for about four hundred years in English ; 
they arc not confounded till, in the fifteenth century, 
the weak/ disappears in pronunciation. 

142. (93) Thus, at the one definite point where 
the theory of French influence has been advanced 
with regard to accidence, it is utterly unable to stand 
the test of historical investigation. And it is the 
same case, I believe, with many of the assertions put ^ ;. ^ 1 

forward of late years by E. EiNENKEL-with regard ' : j 

to a French influence exerted wholesale on English \.^^,f^ 

syntax.* Einenkel's method is simplicity itself In * ! 1 

> According to Ten Brink only twice in the whole of the ■:»' { 

poetic paru of the CanUrbury TaUs (Chaucert Syrach4 u. 
Vmkunsl, § 243), to which add Hous of Fatm^ 460, the «« goddes 
celestials**. Where Chaucer gives a direct prose translation 
from French, this •< occurs more frequently, thus in the T0JU of 
Mslibius, which Ten Brink does not mention. 

* See his Str^xUgi dutch die mt. Syntax^ 1887, his articles in 
the AngUa^ jciii., and in Paul's Grundriu dir girmMuisckin 
PkUologie^ i.» 907 and folL Einenkel's syntactical investigations 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


' t . 




''^' \ ■ dealing with any syntactical phenomenon of Middle 

* '! English, he searches through Tobler's Verffi, Beiirdge 

i^ sur Fr». Grammatik and the ever-increasing literature 

of German dissertations on Old French syntax, in 
quest of some other phenomenon of a similar kind. 
' "^^ 'As soon as this is discovered, it is straightway made 

the prototype of its Middle English analogue, some- 
times in spite of the French parallel being perhaps 
': J so rare a use that even Tobler himself can only point 

^ *;> out a very few instances of it, whilst its English 

counterpart is of everyday occurrence. In several 
cases French influence is assumed, although Einenkel 
, himself mentions that the phenomenon in question 
existed even in Old English, or, not unfrequently, 
I . though it must be considered so simple and natural 

I a development as to be quite likely to spring up 

spontaneously in a variety of different languages. A 
little knowledge of Scandinavian languages would, 
! for example, with regard to many points have con- 

vinced Einenkel that these present the very same 
I ! 4 phenomena which when occurring in English he 

• Vj . * explains from Old French. 

' j 143* (94) A far greater influence than that exer- 

: cised upon English by the Gallicised Normans must 

' be ascribed to the Danish Wikings, who for such a 

I long space of time were acting a prominent part in 

^ •; •' Britain, and whose significance for the life of the 

\ \ . will, of course, in some measure keep their value, even though 

j I . . : his theories on the origin of the phenomena he discusses are 

t . exaggerated and erroneous. 

Digitized byVjOOQl^ 


English people cannot easily be over-estimated. . As 

for the language, it should be borne in mind that the '! 

tongue spoken by the Danes was so nearly akin with 

the native dialects that the two peoples could under- <; 

stand one another without much difficulty. But it 

was just such circumstances which made it natural 

that many nuance of grammar should be sacrificed, •'. 

the intelligibility of either tongue coming to depend > 

mainly on its mere vocabulary. It is in harmony .[ 

mth this view that the wearing away and levelling of 

grammatical forms in the regions in which the Danes 

chiefly settled was a couple of centuries in advance of 

the same process in the more southern parts of the ' 

country. •• 

A fully satisfactory solution of the question of the 
mutual relations of North English and Scandinavian ,: , 

at that time must be regarded as hopeless on account 
of the small number, and generally inadequate ] , 

character, of linguistic records; and, unless some ! 

fresh sources become accessible to us, we shall l\ 

probably never learn clearly and unequivocally which • I . 

points of correspondence in the two languages are 
attributable to primitive affinities, which others to iIj 

loans from one language to the other, or, finally, how ; > 

much may be due to independent parallel develop- 
racnt in two areas which offered such striking 
analogies in so many essential particulars. But, as • 

I hold, any linguistic change should primarily be i^^ 

explained on the basis of the language itself, while j ; ' 

analogues from other languages may serve as illustra- ' i 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



tions and help to show what In the development 
of a language is due to psychological causes of a 
universal character, and what is, on the other hand, 
to be considered the effect of the idiosyncrasies of the 
particular idiom. 

144. (95) I return to the question of the cause or 
the simplification of the English system of declensions, 
and I will quote another answer, which agrees better 
than Grimm's with the linguistic theories prevailing 
now-a-days. This explanation is formulated by one 
of the most competent English scholars of our time, 
Dr. J. A. H. Murray, as follows :— * 

"* The total loss of grammatical gender in English, 
and the almost complete disappearance of ceues^ are 
purely plumetic plunotiuna ". 

In other words: a phonetic law which operates 
^blindly,'' 1.^., without regard to the signification, 
causes the Old English unstressed vowels -a, -e, -u, to 
become merged in an obscure -e in Middle English; 
as these endings were very often distinctive of cases, 
the Old English cases were consequently lost. 
Another phonetic law was operating in a similar 
manner by causing the loss of the final •!», which war 
equally utilised, though in a different way, in the 
Old English declension. Upon this I have to remark, 
first, that beside the phonetic laws must at all event<( 
be mentioned analogy. It is this which, for ex- 
ample, has led to the levelling of the nominative 
plural and dative plural : if phonetic decay had been 
•* £m^ Bfi^, viiL, 40a 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



the only Tactor, Old English sianas and stanum would 
still have been distinguished from one another, namely 
as stones and stone; whereas, in fact, the former form 
has been extended to the dative. This, however, 
must by no means be interpreted as an objection to * ;) 

Dr. Murray and the scholars who hold his view, and 
who are as fully alive to this principle of explanation !p ; 

as anybody else. ! i 

145. (97) I have stated elsewhere my reasons for i ' 

disbelieving in the axiom of the so-called young \' 

grammarian school of the blind working of sound : | 

laws, and in the theory of sound laws and analogy 
sufficing between them to explain everything in 'y\ 

linguistic development.^ Here I shall add, with re- ' .; 

gard to the special question concerning us in this 1 :': ' 

chapter, that the young grammarians' view does not {i 

look deep enough in its search for explanations. If 

.Himpliiication of forms is to be attributed in the main 

to the phonetic law of unstressed terminations, what, i ^ ! 

then, is the cause of the phonetic law ? And if, on the / ': 

other hand, analogy has played an important part ' ' . ' 

in this development, the question arises, if it is not 
possible to suggest causes why the principle of l\. 

analogy should have thus asserted itself. ^.\ 

Let us for a moment suppose that each of the ; '> 

terminations -a, •e^ -i#, bore in Old English its own 
distinctive and sharply defined meaning, which was h 

necessary to the right understanding of the sentences i 

in which the terminations occurred. Would there in f ' 

' See the paper on ** Sound Laws,** quoted above, § 43 note. f 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


that case be any probability that a phonetic law- 
tending to their levelling could ever succeed in 
establishing itself? Most certainly not" ;^the all- 
important regard for intelligibility would have been 
sure to counteract any inclination towards a slurred 
pronunciation of the terminations. Nor would there 
have been any occasion for new formations by 
analogy, as the endings were already sufficiently 

146. (98) The above comparative survey of the 
declensions of Old and Modern English furnishes an 
answer to the questions proposed, and makes the 
whole causality appear in a much clearer light than 
would be possible by any other arrangement of the 
grammatical facts : the cause of iJu decay of the Old 
English apparatus of declensions lay in its manifold 
incongruities. The same termination did not always 
denote the same thing ; the same case was signified 
now by this, now by that means; many relations 
plainly distinguished from each other in one class of 
words were but imperfectly, if at all, distinguishable 
in another class. And yet there is a still further 
cause of mixture and confusion which our arrangement 
does not bring out — the one, namely, which is latent 
in terms like dative, accusative, etc In fact, these 
terms have no clear and definite meaning in the case 
of Old English, any more than in the case of kindred 
tongues ; in many cases it did not even matter which 
of two or more t^0A the speaker chose to employ. 
Thus, not a few verbs existed which were employed 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



now withone, now with another case; and it was often 
impossible to perceive any accompanying difference 
of meaning.^ And so also with other parts of speech : 
the preposition on^ as applied to time, sometimes 
governed the dative (instrumental), sometimes the ac- 
cusative: thus we find in close succession (CAron., 979, 
C),OHkysgeare . . . on Jxnu sunnandcsig ; {ibid.^S9^f 
E.) on i>eri nihti Se hi on tSone don togaedere cumon 
sceoldon;* similarly (Oros., 136, 23 and foil.) on 
westeweardum pisses middangeardes^ ... on easte- 
weardum^xtfi» middangearde {comp. same page, L 7), 
and so on. 

147. (99) This condition of things naturally gave 
rise to a good deal of uncertainty, which manifested 
itself partly in a rather inaccurate pronunciation of the 
endings, partly in the use of them in places where 
they did not belong. 

This now and then happened in such a manner as 
to bring about coincidences of sound without assisting 
clearness, nay, even at its expense, as, for instance, 
is the case when we find in the Cura Past, 166, 2 
and 20 : to anra tfara Sreora burga, instead of anre 
(see Sweet's note in his A. S. Reader, p. 191). 
Generally, however, such uses of endings on analogy > 

' See particularly the materials collected by M. Sohrauer, c! 

Kldiu B$itr. xur a$. Gramm.^ pp. 10-26. \ 

* On with the dative case here corresponded to an older Mt, J: 

while with the accusative it was the old an (comp. Germ, in, '^ 

«»), but I doubt very much if the old West Saxon author was j 

Alive to any difference in his use of an in the two phrases. ] .^ 

! f 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


are apt to crop up in such places particularly where 
the traditional terminations are not sufficiently dis- 
tinct, or where cases have been levelled which it is 
important should be kept apart For example, ^/i 
stands alike for the nominative plural and the genitive 
plural, and misapprehensions are the consequence. 
. I These are obviated by the extension . to the nomina- 

: * tive and genitive respectively of the termination -e from 

: \ the i-class and -ena from the //-class (nominative 

V ' ^/€f genitWe ^/efid). 

\ \ \ But if the transmutations, phonetic as well as non- 

^3 phonetic, of the old declensions took their rise from 

"^ /the numerous inconsistencies of the system and its 

\ want of fixed boundaries, formal or functional, then 

what b described above as the true grammatical 
arrangement exhibits the prospects of the various 
cases and endings in their struggle for existence. 
By its aid we are, in some measure, in a position to 
cast the horoscope of the whole system and predict 
I* the main features of its destinies. 

)j 148. (lOo) The vocalic terminations (B) were 

\ evidently the least distinct and least sharply defined ; 

each of these had many values, nor were they 
; uniformly distributed in the different classes of 

[ inflexion. Here accordingly every succeeding genera- 

1 tion when it came to learning the language was 

I ofTered only scanty points of support and a great 

many chances of going wrong. It is therefore not 
surprising that these endings were confounded and 

I effaced and in a later period entirely dropped, as 

'I ' . " * • ' 


\ . 5 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



J * 

there was no well-defined barrier between the use of 
the bare kernel of the word, and the kernel p/us the 
vocalic termination ^e, in which the endings -e, -a, -u, 
had at that time been mei^ed. 

The nasal endings were possessed of greater power 
of resistance. But they, too, were doomed, chiefly pj 

owing to the exceedingly common use of the ending 
-an in the weak forms of adjectives, where it was of 
no consequence whatever for the signification, and 
could therefore be neglected without any loss. In 
the case of verbal forms, too, where endings in -n 
occurred also, they did not perform any function of 
sufficient importance to check the tendency to drop 
the sound in pronunciation; in fact, at an early 
period we meet with collocations like dinde we^ binde 
ge^ mote wt^ etc, in which the -n had fallen away 
(Siev., § 360). 

149. (loi) Where, on the other hand, the -n was _ i; 
protected by a following vowel, it could withstand the 
levelling tendencies better. This would be especially 
the case in the genitive plural, because of the distinc- 
tive meaning of this genitive. The same thing is 
also particularly true of the two -j endings, each of 
which was confined to a sharply limited sphere of use. 
The -J is too important to be left out ; if, on the other 
hand, the two endings -o^ and ^is are levelled in the 
Middle English -^, this is mainly due to the influence 
exercised by the other endings. As -a and -/ were 
not distinctive enough in point of meaning to oppose 
a strong resistance to the tendency prevailing in all 

•Digitized byVjOOQlC 

t I 



.^i; languages to obscure vowels in weak syllables, nay, 

j* even invited this tendency , -as and -es had to submit 

. ,f to the resulting ** phonetic law". This 'they did 

; ^; without any very great detriment to intelligibility, 

I the connexion in which they occur being nearly 

^: everywhere sufficient to show whether the genitive 

i! singular or nominative plural was meant, especially 

l I after the rule had been established by which the 

' \ j> genitive is always placed before its governing word 

'* '1 (see chapter viii.). 

< t! As regards the prospects which changes of kernel 

?^ have of maintaining themselves, we can only be 

j 'certain of this much, that those which have become 

t| attended with inherent change of signification are, by 

. j; a natural consequence, more likely to be permanent 

; f than the others, which are more liable to be affected 

V by levelling tendencies, inasmuch as a new regular 

. ]; form which agrees with the shape of the word in other 

!> cases is sure to be understood as well as, or «ven 

ji better than, the traditional one. But, on the other 

|; hand, forces tending to change pronunciation are 

continually at work, and these give rise to fresh 

i{ changes of kernel ; we may mention, for instance, the 

laws of quantity which have split up the Old English 

: sceadu into the two Modem English words s/tadi and 

^ shadow. To foretell the durability of such modifica- 

I J tions is, of course, a matter of impossibility. 

I 150. (102) To sum up, setting aside changes of 

kernel, the other modifications of the nouns in Old 

.ij English declensions are of a character to enable us 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



to form an opinion on the main features of their \ 

destinies by considering the reciprocal relations of * * 

phonetic expression and inward signification, the more r 

so as it was just the least ambiguous endings (-or, *r 

-^) that were used to denote the syntactical relations :! 

which are the most distinctive and appear to be ;; 

the most indispensable in language, vis., plurality i; 

and connexion (genitive). Logically to define I^j 

the other case-relations is a matter of much more ;: 

difficulty : the dative and accusative cases often come 
in contact with each other, and both have also some ; 

points of agreement with the nominative. Hence 
arises the chance of endless confusions, even where the < 

forms are sharply distinguished (see the next chapter). ^ 
In fact, there is every occasion, be it said incidentally, 
alike from a formal and syntactical point of view, to !;^ 

prefer the arrangement of the cases prevalent in Den- 
mark since Rask — nominative, accusative, dative, v 
genitive— to any other, and more especially to that "" i 
still current in Germany, where the genitive is placed 
between the nominative and the accusative. .;« ' 

' Professor H. MoUer objects to my manner of ** predicting 
after the event ** the destinies of Old English endings, urging »' 

that in Old Frisian the endings were nearly identical with 'I' , 

those of Old English, but that they have nevertheless been 
treated in various Modem Frisian dialects in different wajrs. > ^ 

But the forms adduced seem to me to prove nothing beyond the 
(act that some Frisian dialects have been slower in their de- 
velopment than others, and that the development is not exactly 
rectilinear, even where the direction is the same. Of course 
we could not expect any two dialects to change their common I 

* ^^ in precisely the same way. { • 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

•*r ' 




\, 15L (103) In the Oldest English pronouns we 

i; find the nominative, accusative, and dative cases 

1 distinct both in point of accidence and syntax, al- 

I 'though in a few pronouns there is no formal differ- 

*! ence between the nominative and accusative (in the 

plurals of the third person (Ate); in the neuter (A//, 
*t ] ktbat, etc), in the feminine form heo or hie). 

\^ The first step in the simplification of this system 

is the abandonment of the separate forms mec, JnCy 
' usic^ eawic^ undt^ indt^ which are used only in the very 
oldest texts as accusatives distinct from the daJtives 
tnty Jh, MSf eoWf unc, inc^ and which are soon ousted by 
the latter forms. By parallel developments occurring 
somewhat later, the old dative forms hire {lUr^ /ut)^ 
Mm and hwam {whom) are made to fill the offices 
held hitherto by the old accusatives /uo, hine and 
kwome. In some of the southern counties hine is, 
however, preserved up till our times in the form of 
[Bn] , see Ellis, Early EngL Pronunciation^ v^ p. 43 ; 
in the literary transcription of these dialects this is 

written '««, e^.^ in Fielding's Timt Jones (Squire 


Digitized by LjOOQ IC 


i • 



Western, etc.)> and in Thackeray's Pefidennts (i., 62, 
'* Show Mr. Pendennis up to *un ").^ In the plural, also, 
the dative form has expelled the old ace ; /tern (O. F. 

/um^ keom ; preserved in familiar and vulgar speech : ^j 

"I know 'em") and the later tlum are originally '>j 

datives ; ' the neuter singular, on the other hand, has ;!, : 

preserved the old accusative forms hit {it), }>at (that)^ ^; 

hwat {w/iot), at the expense of the old datives. 'j ' 

The reason of this constant preferring of the dative [} 

forms in the person-indicating pronouns is no doubt v| 
the fact that these pronouns are used as indirect objects j ' 

more often than either nouns or adjectives ;• at any . ^A 

rate, it is a phenomenon very frequently found in ' i 

various languages ; compare Danish hafn^ lunde, detn, v! 

hvem, originally datives, now also accusatives and \l\ -■ 

partly even nominatives (while it is true that in wig' i\ ; 
and dig the ace. has outlived the dative) ; North 

* P$n<UnHis, p. 50, Thackeray uses 'n as a plural (" Hand — .J t 
down these *ere trunks.** ** Hand*n down yourself**) ; but this /. - 
is hardly due to a direct and correct observation of the real ^ 
spoken language. <J ( 

*Chron.^ 893, the Parker MS. has **hie asettan him ... ^f 

ofer,** but the Laud MS.: ''hi ^setton hi . . . ofer**; it is j/ ^ 

perhaps allowable here to suppose a blending of the transi* ^ ^ . 

tive *<asetton hie** and the intransitive **asston him**; cf. v: i ^ 

S 188. But in ChroH.f 828, we have an indubitable outcome of 
the tendency to replace the old ace. by the dat., for the Parker 
MS. reads : ^ he Am to ea)>modre hersumnesse gedyde,** but 
the Laud MS. : **he hiom ealle [N.B. not eallum t] to eadmo- 
dere hyrsumnesse gedyde **• 

* A. Kock, in Nard. Tidshrifi/or PhOologi^ n. n iii., 256. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




\'i\ ' German wem for wen} French /ui as an absolute 

[I pronoun (while the ace has carried the day in e/le, 

tHXf elUs : moi and toi may be either); Itsilian lui^ 

<j 162. (104) In this chapter I propose to deal at 

i' some length with those tendencies to further modi- 

,i fications of the pronominal case-system which may 

\ be observed after the accusatives and datives have 

'., , everywhere become identical The forms concerning 

;,{ us are in their present spelling :-^ 

•1.^ nom. ace— dat. 

; ,j ly we me^ us 

I f thau^ye thee^you 

* 1 he^ she^ they /um^ lier^ theni 

, ! who whom. 

^ I Simplification has gone further in the case of the 

I ! pronouns of the second person than in that of the 

n others; in fact, if we were to believe the ordinary 

{) grammars, the substitution of you (or ye is the only 

: I point in which a deviation from the old system has 
taken place. But ordinary grammars are not always 
trustworthy ; in laying down their rules they are too 

' Pranke, in Pho9uii$ekc StudUn^ \u^ 50. 

* Storm, Engl, Phiiologu^ ao8 ; compare alto the interesting 
remarks in Pranceschi, In CUU $ in Cumpagnaf 585 : '* toi, Uif 
for9f per egli, ella, eglino ed elleno, che nel parlar famigliare par- 
rebbe afiettazione. • • • Questi e altri idiotitmi e certe sgram- 
matlcature . . • 10 fo di quando in quando scappar iuori dai 
roei penonaggi, perchd vivono nella bocca del popolo totcano, 
come sa chi vi nacque o vi ttette lungamente in mexso, e 
port6 amore alia sua parlata.** 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





apt to forget that the English language is one thing, 
common-sense or logic another thing, and Latin 
grammar a third, and that these three things have 

really in many cases very little to do with one an- [J] 

other. Schoolmasters generally have an astonishing ; ] 

talent for not observing real linguistic facts, and an f^ 

equally astonishing inclination to stamp everything i.! 

as faulty that does not agree with their narrow rules ; U 

and the precepts inculcated in the school-room have . .; 

no doubt had some influence in checking natural V' 

tendencies, though the following pages will suffice to - j 

show that the best authors have in many points de- '^j 

viated more from the rules laid down in grammars :j 

than is generally supposed. v; 

163. (105) Many of the phenomena I shall treat of {| 
have, as a matter of course, been noticed and partly 
explained by modem grammarians of the historical 
school ; I shall specially mention KoCH, Hist Gramm.^ ^ >^ 

ii. (especially p. 244 1); Matzner, ^if^/. Gramm.^ ii. ! 
passim ; ABBOTT, A Shakespearian Grammar, § 205 

ff. ; A. Schmidt, Shakespeare-Lexikon ; STORM, j; 

Englische Phihlogie, 1 881, p. 207 ff.; GUMMERE, *; 

The English Dative-Nom. of the Person. Pron.^ in y 

American Joum. of PhiloL, iv.; W. Franz, Die \ 


' In the second edition of Koch's work, Pro£ Zupitxa has V 

already remarked that the earliest of Koch*s examples must be % 

explained differently or are untrustworthy ; but even Koch's *. 
'^altenglische** examples prove nothing; thus )>am in ^'J^er 

restid ]>am doun**must certainly be the common reflexive \ 

dative (see below, § 188), and not the subject of the sentence. 1: 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


(- . ' 

, t; diaUktsfir, bet Dickens, Engl. St., xii., 223 f., and Zur 

\ syntax des dlteren NeuengUsck, ibitL, xvii^ 212 AT.; 

i| Kellner, in the Introduction to Caxtoris Blanchardyn 

\ (EETS. Extra Scries 58). 

ij On the whole these authors content themselves 

^ with a purely lexical treatment of the matter, giving 

i for instance all the examples of / for me and vice 

! versA under one head» and only occasionally offering 

'\ an explanation of some phenomena ; the fullest and 

[i most satisfactory explanations are found in Storm's 

'\)\ excellent work. In the following sections I shall 

attempt a systematic arrangement according to the 

• i psychological or phonetic principles underlying the 

phenomena and causing speakers or writers to use 

• ' another case than that exacted by the rules of ordinary' 

< ^ grammar. I shall first take those classes of case- 

1 ! shiftings which are of a more general character and 

may occur more or less frequently in all languages of 

^ 1^ our type, giving last those which belong more specially 

;' I to English or to one particular period of English. 

It must be specially mentioned that in many of the 
sentences quoted two or even more causes of shifting 
hkve operated concurrently. 

I. RelatiTe Attraotion. 

154. (105) A pronoun in the principal proposition 
is often put in the case which the corresponding 
relative pronoun has or ought to have. This is 
particularly easy to explain where no relative pro- 
noun is used ; the- so-called relative ellipsis originates 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




in a construction afio Aoinou, the personal pronoun ^ 

belonging equally well to both propositions. Ex- 
amples abound, both where the relative pronoun is "; 
expressed and where it is understood. (^ 
ChsLUccr,M,P.9 5, 623, ^ Him that she cheest^/ie shal 

her have as swythe *' | Caxtoa (see Kellner, |^ 

xiv.), ^Aim that he rought with full stroke t 

was all in to brused " | Shale., Cor.^ v., 6, 5, *^ 

**/fifn I accuse (:) the city port by this hath :^ 

enter'd" | Ant., iii., i, 15, *" Aim we semes > 

[serve's] away *• | Rom., 1032 (ii., 3, 85), ''/ler i 

I loue now Doth grace for grace, and loue 'j 

for loue allow " (the oldest quarto sAe wham) 
I HamL, il, i, 42, " him you would sound • . . 
be assured he closes . . .** | Temp,, v., 1,15; As% { 

i., I, 46 ; I H. VI., iv., 7, 75 | Tennyson, 370 |i 

" Our noble Artlmr, lUm Ye scarce can over-' 
praise, will hear and know" | TrolL, Duk^s _ \\ 
Ch., i., 161 (a lady writes), " I have come to 
be known as lur whom your uncle trusted and ^ 

loved, as her whom your wife trusted . . ." i- 

Very often after / / is : — 
Marlowe, few, 1034, " Tis not thy wealth, but her j 

that I esteeme" (= I esteemc her) | Sh., 2 ff. | ; 

V/., iv., I, 1 17, " it is fhee I feare " | Sofiu. 62, f 

••Tis ihee (my selQ that for my self I praise " ^ 

I Thack., Peptd., i., 269, *' it's not me I'm jj 

anxious about " | idid., iii.» 301, *' it is not him i 

I want" I Troll., OU Man, 121, " It is her \ 

you should consult on such a matter *•. S 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Norn, for ace. is rarer in case of relative attraction.^ 

ji Sh,, y. A., 109, "thus /le that overrurd I over- 

\ i swayed " | Trot'/., ii., 3, 252, *• praise him that 

': t got thee, sAe that gaue thee sucke " ; comp. 

fj • /fml, i., 2, 105 ; 2 H. VL, iii., 2, 89; /?. ///., iv., 

r 4» loi f. I Bunyan (see Storm, 21 1), ^' the en- 

^j; couraging words of ^ that led in the front". 

J II. Blendingg. 

'^ 165. (106) Contaminations or blendings of two 

[: constructions between which the speaker is wavering 

occur in all languages. The first class of contamina- 

^^ tions concerning us here is caused by vacillation be- 

: ). tween an auHsative with infinitive and a finite verb, 

\ exemplified in the Bible phrase : O. E., **Hwane secgad 

I 1 men Jwet sy mannes sunu ? " Auth. V., " W/iom do men 

if! say that I the son of man am?** (Matt, xvi., 13), as 

I ; compared with the more ^ grammatically correct " con- 

, . struction in Wyclif : ** Whom seien men to be mannus 

.1. sone?" In the parallel passage, Luke, ix., 18 and 20^ 

fj Wyclif writes : " W/wm seien the puple that Y am ? . . . 

i But ti^ seien )e that Y am ? " From secular authors 

jl Tshall quote: — 

ji Chauc, Morn, iii., 26, 803, '^as ye han herd nu 

i • sayd '' [rhyme : apayd ; for tne saye or / 

]: said\ \ B., 665, " yet wole we vs auyae wkoiii 


\ . ■ * 

I * Relative attraction it the reason of the three abnormal A#*t 

!; in Caxton which Kellner quotes on p. xv., but does not ei- 

Digitized by (jOOglC* 


' r 

that we wole that [v. n om. that] shal ben our -^l 

Justysc" I Sh.,Ci^r.,iv.,2,2, "the nobility ... j,! j 

wAom we see haue sided in his behalfe** | 7( | 

Temp., iiL, 3, 92, ** Ferdinand (wAom they 3' .; 

suppose is droun'd)** | Mens., ii., i, 72, "[my . jj' 

wife] wAom I thanke heauen is an honest t j 

woman ** | T$m./\v.f$, 120, "a bastard, wkom \ j 

theoracle Hath doubtfully pronounced thy [fol. ^ j 

the] throat shall cut " | Fielding, 71/., iv., 1 30, ^! i 

*' I would have both you and s/ie know that ^! 1 

it is not for her fortune he follows her" | f : 

Darwin, Li/e and Z., i., 60, " to assist those ^t *i 

wkofH he thought deserved assistance" | h { 

Muloch, Halifax, ii., 11, "one w/io$m all the H j 

world knew was so wronged and so un- f ' I 

happy V I ! 

Note also Sh., Cor., i., i, 236, " And were I anything i ^ 

but what I am, I would wish me only he!* where he is 'p • 
the only natural form, as Aim would only obscure the "" * I 

meaning of the phrase.* In R. Haggard, C^^^ra, ii., ( 


^ The phenomenon it nearly akin to the well-known insertion *J 
of what should be the subject of the subordinate clause as the 

object of the principal proposition; see, for instance, Chaucer, k; 

^•1 4392* *' Herkneth ikiu blis/ul bridd$s how they singe, And see . | 

thcfnssckifloum how they springe" | Sh., WifU. T., I, 3, x8x, j' 
" you perceive ms not how I give lyne **. A good many examples 
have been collected by Kellner, Blanch., xvi. (^ And God saw the 

light that it was good **); c£ also Wright's note, Sh., Tw. M, p. | 

loa :' 

' Compare also Stevenson, Truu. IsL, 171, **Some one was j 

close behind, I knew not whom **. f 

;^ '•. 

Digitized by dOOglC t "^ 



-• u 

121/' rather than I would see her thy wedded wife and 
thou her loving lord/' we have an approach to the 
phenomenon mentioned below, § 164. 

When we find in the middle of the sixteenth cen- 
tury such sentences as these : — 

Roister D.^ 38, " And let me seeyou play me such 

a part againe" | idid^ 76, *' I woulde see you 

aske pardon/' 

we may be pretty sure that the author meant you 

ji I; ; as the ace. case and the verbs p/ay and asJke as iniini- 

. 1 • I tives ;' but to a later generation neither the form of 

the pronoun nor that of the verb would exclude the 

' possibility of^i^n being the nominative before finite 

i verbs ( = let me see (that) you • . . ). 

ij 156* (no) In these cases the blending was due to 

'^ . ^ }!| * the fact that what was grammatically the object of 

one verb was logically the subject of another verb. 

This is particularly frequent in* the combination lei 

us (go, etc.)» supplanting the older construction /c^ 

ws, eta^ The logical subject is here often put in the 

nominative, especially if separated from the word 


Genesis, xxi. 44, " Let $is make a covenant, land 
tAou"* I Udall, Roister, 21, "Let all these 
matters passe, and we three sing a song" 

J; * Still found in Sh., #^., Macb., ii., 3, 65, " Retyre wc" | v^- 

3» 25, '* March we on "• 

* Compare the 0. B. translation, *'>»t freondscipe tig 
< ; • betwux unc, m$ and >#,*' which it a regular appotittonal con- 

. :;.! atruction ; cf* { 163.' 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

: '■:« i 



1 '-S^ 



I Sh., Aferc/t,, iii., 2, 21, "let fortune goe to 55 
hell for it, not /" | Cos., iii., i, 95, "let no man 
abide this deede, but tve the doers " | Byron, 
iv., 240, "Let If€ who made thee answer 

that" I Hughes, Tom Brawris Sc/u, 3, "let j! 

you and I cry quits ". -j - 

Storm (E. P/iiloL^ 211) has some modem quota- |j 

tions (from Dickens, who writes also: ** Leave Nell '{\ 

and / to toil and work **), and quotes the Norw^an \\ 

[and Danish] colloquial lad vi det for lad os deL In 5 ' 

the corresponding Dutch construction both the nom. '\ 
and ace. are allowed : " laat mij nu toonen " as well 

as " laat ik nu toonen " (let me now show) ; similarly \ \ 

** laat Aem [Aij] nu toonen, laat ons [laten ttnj] nu ;; • 

toonen, lat Aem [laten se] nu toonen".^ In a passage *y 

from Guy of Warwick, 353 1 , ** Lei hym fynde a sarasyn ] 
And J' to fynde a knyght of myn," we have a tran- 

Lween this phenomenon and that dealt __ ' 

:onfusion after the verb make is found 
iv., I, 217, *• mischeefe which may make 
line owne for ever, and ./ thy Caliban 
for aye thy foote-licker " ; here Caliban forgets the \ 

first part of his sentences and goes on as if the b^in- ^^ 

ning had been " this island shall become ". So also •! ^ 

in RicL IL, iv., i, 216, " [God] tnake tpu, that nothing [ 

* See Taaktudic, 1887, 376. Mr. C Stoffel informs me that , ^; 

the two constructions are not exact equivalents, a difference ; 
being made, for instance, between laat h^ gaan^ ^qu*il aille,** 

•ndiaaihm gaan^ •• allow him to go **. f 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

1 •! 


haue, with nothing grieu'd, And f/wu with all pleas'd, 
that hast all atchieu'd \ 

In these cases the nominative is used' in spite of 
grammatical rules requiring the ace, because the 
word is thought of as the subject; this is even, 
though rarely, the case after a preposition ; in Roister 
Doister^ p. 72, I find : " Nay as for they^ shall euery 
mother's childe die ; " and a phrase in a letter that 
b read aloud twice in the same play runs the first 
time •• €LsJ6r all them that woulde do yoa wrong " (p. 
51), but the second time "as for all they" (p. 57). 
In § 170 ff. we shall see some more instances of the 
nominative, as the case proper to the subject, getting 
the better of the ace, required by earlier grammatical 

167. (107) Other contaminations leading to con- 
fusions of two cases are found here and there. In 
Sh., Ten^.^ ii., i, 28, we read : •* Which, of he, or 
Adrian . . . First b^ns to crow?" This is a 
blending of "Which, he or A.," and "Which of [the 
two] him and A.," or else of may be a printer's error 
for or, as conjectured by Collier. In Sir Andrew's 
interruption, Tw. N., ii., 5, 87, ** [you waste the treasure 
of your time with a foolish knight.—] That's ipue 1 
warrant you," tne is due to the use of the accus. 
in the preceding sentence (a-with me); immediately 
afterwards he says : •* I knew 'twas /; " in Malvolio's 
speech, *' If thb should be /^," ihee is similarly the 

■ Compare HtmM, L, 4, 54, and H. Prittche*t note in hit 
edition of that play^ Berlin, i88o. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




object of the preceding / Uu€. Comp. Thack., Pew/^ j I 

ill., 87, ** If ever I saw a man in love, that man is { • 

Aim". The opposite result of the contamination b (. 

found in Sh., Trot'/., ii., 3, 102, ''Achillis hath inveigled j ^ 

his foole from him. — JV/to, Thersites ? — f/e " ( « who is J ' 

it? it is he) ; parallel cases occur at every moment in j 

colloquial language. I' 

158. (112) A good deal of confusion arises from j' 

som£ toords being both prepositions and conjunctions.. {\ 

With regard to but. Dr. Murray says in N. E. D. : — j 

" In some of these uses, the conjunction is, even in ^ - 

Modem English, not distinctly separated from the 1 

preposition : the want of inflexions in substantives^ ^ 

and the colloquial use of me, us, for /, tve, etc., as j 

complemental nominatives in the pronouns, making < ' 

it uncertain whether but is to be taken as governing a j 

case. In other words * nobody else went but me (or j 

I)' is variously analysed as ■■ 'nobody else went c 
except me' and 'nobody else went except (that) I "^ ;! 
(went),' and as these mean precisely the same things . ] 

both are pronounced grammatically correct." (Comp. J . 

also Murray's examples, especially under the heads \ 

C. 3 and 4.) It should, however, be remarked that * 

• the confusion in the use of but is not a consequence j , 

of the want of distinct case-endings in the nouns and j 

the use of me instead of / in other connexions ; in my i 

view it is on the contrary the existence of such two- i 

sided words as but, etc., that is one of the primary ^ 
causes of mistakes of fue for / or vice versd and care- 
less uses of the cases generally. Even in such a 


1 ■ 

f ] 

1 ■ 




language as German, where the cases are generally 
kept neatly apart, we find such combinations as 
"niemand kommt mir entg^en ausser ein unver- 
sehamter^ (Lessing) ; * wo ist ein gott ohne der kitr'' 
(Luther) ; " kein gott ist ohne ichp etc.* 

Sometimes both the preposition and the conjunc- 
tion would require the same case as in these quota- 
tions from Murray's Diet : ''Se is xthwam freond butan 
dracan anum | bot )^ haf i na frend ". In the follow- 
ing examples there is a conflict between the two con- 
structions ; and in some of them (which I have starred) 
the nominative is used, although both the preposition 
' and conjunction would require the accusative, or vice 

Ancr. R., 408, " no J^ing ne con luuien ariht bute 
^one " I Chauc, C, 282, ** no man woot of it 
but god and Ai*" (rhymes with de) | Mm. P., 
2, 30,** no wight woot [it] but/" | Malory, 42, 
''neuermanshallhauethatofficebut^" | Mar- 
lowe,/«cf, 1 576/* I neuer heard of any man but 
*heMalign'dtheorderoftheIacobines"* | Sh., 
Cymb.^ i., i, 24, ^ I do not thinke, so faire an 
outward, and such stufle within endowes a 
man, but •A^r" | ibid., ii., 3, 1 53, "That I kisse 
aught but •*# " I As. i., 2, 18, •* my father had 
no childe, but •/" | Macb., iii., i, 54, (854), 

^ See Paul, Prineipim d$r Sprackg$$eh., itt ed. aa5, and ed. 
318; in Danish timilar examples abound (**ingen nd$9^ >^t** 

'Relative attraction concurring. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


•* There is none but Ae whose being I doc 
feare" | Romeo, 250, (i., 2, 14), ** Earth hath 
swallowed all my hopes but *sAe " I R. 111^ 
ii..2.76," WhatsUyes had I but •they?'* \ 2 
ff. VI., i., 2, 69, " here's none but i/tee and / " | 
Teinp,, iii., 2, 109, " I neuer saw a woman 
But onely Sycorax my dam, and •x//^" | 
Thackeray, Van. F., 521, *• how pretty she 
looked. So do you I Everybody but me 
who am wretched" | R. L. Stevenson, ChiUts 
Garden^ 17, "So there was no one left but 
159. (113) Save (sauf) presents similar phenomena 
of confusion, although it is comparatively seldom 
found as a preposition, as in Matth. Arnold, Poetns, i., 
iS9» " For of the race of Gods is no one there, save 
Mf^ alone"; and in Tennyson, p. 319, "Who should 
be king save him who makes us free ? " * In Chaucer — 
sauf {save) is very common with nom. (A, 474, 627 ; 
^.. 1355; A 25; L. G. JK, 1633; Morris, ii, 221, 493; 
342, 801), so also in Shakespeare {Tw. N., iii., i, 172 ; 
C<es„ iii, 2, 66, etc), and in modem poets {e^., Byron, 
iv., 332, "Who shall weep above your universal grave, 
save /?"). Where the word is not meant as the "? 
subject, the accusative is used {eyg^., Chaucer, B.^ 4491* ^ 



!i ^ 

1: •■ 

1:-. -J 

i: • 

'-i ' 

<"• .- 

' InsUad of 18 sometimes used in such a way as to approach a ^ . , . 

conjunction; see Mrs. Grand, TU H$av4nly Twins, p. 43, '* Now J • ! 

they rule him instead of kirn ikim *'• 1 ' ' 

' Matzner (ii., 501) has two examples of saw with ace, firom I 

Hogers and Skelton. r - 





'"Swe/aw I herde neuere man so singe;" where, 
however, one MS. (H) has^/). An example of an ab- 
normal use of the nom. is Shak., Sann. 109, 14, ** For 
nothing in this wide universe I call, save t/um^ my 

For €xcefit, compare the following examples : — 
Meredith, Tra^. Com., 28, " And everybody is to 
know him except I?" \ Muloch, Halifax, ii.» 
22, ** No one ever knew of this night's epi- 
sode, except us three" j Mrs. Browning (a 
letter in Mrs. Orr, Life and Letters of Rob. 
Br., 232), '* Nobody exactly understands him 
• except me who am in the inside of him and 
hears him breathe" | Hardy, Tess, 10 1,* Per- 
haps any woman would, except ine^\ 
160. (1 14) The conjunctions as and than, used in 
comparisons, give rise to similar phenomena. As it 
is possible to say both '' I never saw anybody 
stronger than he^ [scil. is\, and *^than him** (ace. 
agreeing with anybody), and " I never saw anybody 
so strong as he** and *^as him,** the feeling for the 
correct use of the cases b here easily obscured, and 
he is used where the rules of grammar would lead us 
to expect him, and conversely. The examples of 
complete displacement are here, as above, starred :— 
Chauc, B., 1025, ** So vertuous a lyver in my lyf 
Ne saugh I never, such as sche"" \ ibid., M. 
-'^•»3»984»'*NeswichasxArneknewI noon" 
I Udall, Roister, 33, ••for such as thou** (com- 
pare ibid., 44) I Marl., Tamb., 1814, •' depend 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


h .' 


on such weake helps sls we" \ ibid,, 1877, 
'' for these, and such as we our selues, For 
vs " I Greene, Friar B., 1 2, 66, " I do love the 
lord, As he that's second to thyself in love " 
(relat attr.) | Sh., Rom.^ 239, '' For men so . 
old as fcv " I Shrew, i., 2, 65, '' 'twixt such 
friends as wee*" \ As, ii., 5, 58, " Heere shall he 
see grosse fooles as ^" | Wint. T., ii., i, 191 
I Ant, iii., 3, 14, "* is shee as tall as ^tne ? " | 
Field, T. J., ii., 115," you are not as good as 

^ ^^^-^ me" I Trollope, Duk^s C4., iii., 31 (a young 
lord writes), " the Carbottle people were 
quite as badly oflf as ^irx" | Orig. Engh, 42 |« 

(vulg.), " some people wot lives [ - who live] 
on the same floor as ^us, only they are 
poorer than ^us " | Thomson, Rule Brit- 
annia, "The nations not so blest ^sjfue, ^ 
Must in their turn to tyrants fall " | Meredith, ^ 
Egoist, 192, " What was the right ©f so miser- 
able a creature as s/te to excite disturb- t 
ances?" h . 

After suc/i as the nom. is now the rule : — 
Tennyson, In Metn., xxxiv., p. 256, "What then i 

were God to such as /?" | ibid., p. 419, H ; 

'* Gawain, was this quest for thee ? " " Nay, . !! ' 

lord," said Gawain, '* not for such as /" | f' \ 

Rob. Browning, iii., 78, '' The land has none i 

left such as /u on the bier" | Mrs. Brown- 
ing, Sonnets/, t. Port., viii., "who hast . . . laid 
them on the outside of the wall, for such as 


\\ ^ 

.J i 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 



I to take " I Ward, Dav. Grieve, i., 193, " re. 
ligion was not for such as Af'* (Buchanan^ 
Wand. Jew, 74, •• The Roman wars not with 
such foes as he"" \ Co. Doyle, SherL H., i., 181^ 
'' God keep you out of the clutches of such 
a man as he ". 
Even after as well as the confusion is found, though 
in the mouths of vulgar persons : — 

Sh., Meas., ii., i, 75, ** I will detest my selfe also, 

as well z&she''\ Field., T.J., iii., 121, " Dost 

fancy I don't know that as well as thee ? ** 

The word like is normally used with the dative, 

but on account of its signification being often identical 

with that of tff, the nominative is sometimes found : — 

Sht Rom., 1992 (iii., 5, 83), *' And yet no man like 

he doth greeue my heart," evidently on 

account of the following verb, whose subject 

in a way he is ; compare, on the other hand, 

ibid., 1754-6, *'wert thou as young as I . . . 

doting like me, and like im banished " | R. 

Wintle, A Regular Scandal, 35, '•Yes, if it 

was a sweet young girl . • • and not one 

like r. 

16L (115) Examples with than : — 

Chaucer, L. G. W. (B), 476, " To me ne fond I 

better noon than 7/" | Sh., Cor., iv., 5, 170, 

•• but a greater soldier then he, you wot one ** 

I As, I, \, 172, ** my soule • . . hates nothing 

more then •*#" (compsuv Troil., ii., 3, 199* 

Cjmb., V^ 3, 72, •'then w" (obj.) (relat attr.) | 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


• Field, T. /., L, 49, •' My sister, though many j < 

years younger than *Mf, is at least old rj . 

enough to be at the age of discretion " | h 

idid., iii., 129, "you are younger than •»!/" ,< , 

I iUd., ]., 221 (vulg.)» "gentle folks are but [j 

flesh and blood no more than us servants " \\ - 

I Byron, li., 351, ''none Can less have said || 

or more have done Than ^tAee^ Mazeppa ** | [ j 

idtW.^ iv., 213, "Yet he seems mightier far j^' 

than ^i/iiM*" | iv., 223, " Higher things than .! 

ye are slaves ; and higher Than *fAem or | 

ye would be so"* | v., 226, ''than Vam" \ 
Shelley, 237, " I am . . . mightier than •t/ue'* 3* 

I Thackeray, Van. F., 412, "she fancies her- 
self better than you and me'* \ Trollope, ;] .' 
Duk/s Ch.^ L,'22i (a lady says), "[She should 
be] two inches shorter dian tm^. 
This use of the ace. after than^ of which Bishop _ 
Lowth in his grammar (1762, p. 145) is already able 
to quote many examples from the writings of Swift, 
Lord Bolingbroke, Prior, etc., is now so universal as 
to be considered the normal construction; that is, 
to the general feeling tlum is a preposition as well as 
a conjunction. Even grammarians acknowledge the 
use of the accusative in this connexion,^ though their • 
reasons are not always of the best; thus W. Smith | ; 
and D. Hall * mention : " A stone is heavy, and the [' 

> Hyde Clarke, p. 132 ; Alford, QumCt Enf^l.^ ixi ff. ; see also | . • 

Storm, E. PkUoL, p. 233. [ 

' A School Manuml of Engi. Grammar^ 1873, p. 119. » 

\^ ' ' 
t. • » 

Digitized by Google VX^ 

! ! 

:i ■;■ 

,1 , 


sand weighty ; but a foors wrath is heavier than them 
both ^ (Prov., xxvii., 3), as '' a construction founded on 
the Latin," namely, the ablative (without quatH\ to 
express the second member of a comparison (major 
Scipione), with which the English idiom has of course 
nothing whatever to do. Nevertheless, many gram- 
mariansy and consequently many authors, reject this 
natural use of the accusative, and I think I am justi- 
fied in considering the nominatives in some, at least, 
of the following examples as called forth by a more 
or less artificial reaction against the natural tendencies 
, of the language : — 

Carlyle, Heroes, 93, *• the care of Another than he " 
I Troll, Duke*s Ck., i., 136, "he had known 
none more vile or more false than /" | G. 
Eliot, Mill, L, 186, ''I have known much 
more highly-instructed persons than he make 
{ \ inferences quite as wide " | Tennyson, Becket, 

I, ''But we must have a mightier man than 
he for his successor ** | Meredith, Egoist, 141, 
" if I could see you with a worthier than /** 
1 I Buchanan, Jew, 87, '' Naming the names of 

lesser Gods than Z** | Co. Doyle, Sherl. H., 
i«, 53* " I love and am loved by a better man 
The accusative is always used in than whom (found 
in Shakespeare, Love's L., iii., 180, in Milton, etc.); 
Alford is right in observing that than who is here 
] excluded because the expression does not admit of 

an elliptical construction. I only once remember 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


having found tkan who^ namely in the sentence, ^ Mr. 
Geo. Withers, than who no one has written more 
sensibly on this subject/' and then it occurs in the 
book on The Kin^s English (p. 338) by Mr. Washing- 
ton Moon, who is constantly r^^lating his own and 
others' language by what in his view ouglU to be, 
rather than what really is the usage of the English 

III. Anaooluthia. 
162. (108) or the diflerent forms of anacoluthia 
we have here first to do with that which results when 
a speaker begins a sentence with some word which 
takes a prominent place in his thought, but has not 
yet made up his mind with regard to its syntactical 
connexion ; if it is a word inflected in the cases he 
provisionally puts it in the nominative, but is then 
often obliged by an after-correction ^ to insert a pro- 
noun indicating the case the word should have been 
in. This phenomenon is extremely frequent in the 
colloquial forms of all languages, but grammarians 
blame it and in literary language it is generally 
avoided. I shall first give some examples where the 
case employed is correct or the fault is at any late 
not visible :— 

' I translate thus Wegener** expression, *' nachtragltche 
correctur'* (see his Grundfragen dis SpracklebeHS^ Halle, 1885, 
p. 7a, where he deals with such German sentences as '* das 
haus, da bin ich rein gegangen,*' etc.). The opposite process 
of placing the pronoun first is also common ; see, for instance, 
Carlyle, Huroes^ 19, ** H is strange enough this old Norse view of 
nature ". 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

1 1 


Ancren RiwU, 332, ''J^e beste mon of al )>isse 
worlde 3if ure Louerd demde him al efter 
rihtwisnesse 7 nout efter merci, wo schulde 
liim iwurden " | Chauc, A, 4268, " oon of 
hem, in sleping as he lay. Him mette a 
wonder dreem '• | Sh., i4j, iv., i, 77^ "veric 
good orators when they are out, ihey will 
spit" I ibid^y iv., i, 177, 'Uhat woman that 
cannot make her fault her husbands oc- 
casion, let fur neuer nurse her childe *'• 
Next I quote some instances in which the nom- 
inative (or, in the first sentence, ace.) might be also 
caused by relative attraction (§ 1 54) : — 

Oras^ 78, 31, "^jHBtgewinn ]7aet his faeder astealde 
he . . . for IxBtn V gear scipa worhte" | 
Cura P.y 29, 2, " Se Be god ne ongit, ne ongit 
god lUne "^ | ibid.^ 3 1 , 1 6, " S^ Be aenigne Bissa 
ierminga besuicS, him waere betere," etc. | 
Chaucer, B.^ 4621, ''For he that winketh, 
whan he sholde see, Al wilfully, God lat 
him never thee I " | Chaucer, Morris^ iii^ 165, 
" for certes he that . . . hath to gret pre- 
, sumpcioun, him schal evyl bitide " | ibid.^ iii.) 

196, " He that most curteysly comaundeth, to 
j him men most obeyen" | Malory, 150, "jv 

: i that be soo wel borne a man • . ., there is 

no lady in the world to good iot yaw"* \ 

\ ^ This it the regular O. B. construction in relative clauses; 

! compare the modem translation, **Ht who knows not God, 

God knows not kim *'• 





Matt., xih, 36, " Evity idle word that men 
speak, they shall give account thereof in the 
day of judgment" | Sh., Cor., i., 4, 28, *• He 
that retires, He take him for a Voice" (com- 
pare HafHl., iii., 2, 252) | Sh^ R. Ill,, iii^ 2, 58. 
** that they which brought me in my masters 
hate, I Hue to looke vpon their tragedie " ^ | 
Sh., H. v., iv., 3, 35, «A^ which hath no 
stomacke to this fight, let Mm depart, his 
passport shall be made " | Carlyle, Heroes, 9, 
^He that can discern the loveliness of things, 
we call him Poet "• 

There is no relative attraction in the following 
sentences : — 

Oros., 24, 7, " Seo lis fyrre Ispania, hyre is be 
westan garsecg" | ibid., 188, 26, " Athium 
Jxgtfolc him gejnihte** | Sh., Meas., v., 134, 
'' But yesternight my lord, she and that 
fryer I saw them at the prison " | Sh., Wint, "^ *' j 
T., iii., 2, 98, " My second ioy, And first fruits ;, ' 

of my body, from Ids presence I am bar'd ".* 

Sometimes no corrective pronoun follows : — 
Sh., Meas., v., 53 1, " Sfu Claudio that you wrong'd, . i 

looke you restore" | Sh., Wives, iv., 4, 87, , . ' 

" and /u my husband best of all aflfects * | Sh., | : 

Tim., iv., 3, 39, **Shee, whom the spittle- ; ; 

house and vlcerous sores Would cast the 

' In the appendix to the next chapter I shall have occatioa e '. [i 

to mention these and similar ways of expressing the genitive • * \ 

of word-groups; see espedally § 349. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

* \ 


t ' 




gorge at, this embalmes " [her ; in the first 
folio a diflerent punctuation is used] | R. 
Browning, Tauchn., i., 235, "S^, men 
would have to be your mother once, Old 
Gandolf envied me, so fair she was 1 " 
168. (hi) When two or more words are in afiposi- 
iion to each other it often happens that the appositum 
does not follow the case of the first word ; the speaker 
forgets the case he has just employed and places the 
appositum loosely without aiiy connexion with the 
preceding. M. Sohrauer ^ gives some O. E. examples 
(to Nichodeme^ an Saera Judeiscra ealdra), to which 
may be added 2 — 
j Chron.^ 984 A, " seo halgung Ixjts afterfilgendan 

bisceopes ^Ifkeagts^ se 6e oSran naman waes 
geciged Godwine " (rel. attraction 1) | Sweet, 
A. S, Reader^ 15, 7, **fram BrytXa^ cyninge, 
Ceadwalla geciged^* \%bid.^ \. 45, ** summ 
nrwurVm bisceop^ Aidan gekaten ** | ibidf I. 
loi, ** to Westseaxan Jkyni^ge, Cj^mgyk 
ge/taten'* \ ibid, 1. 144, "on serine, of seolfre 
This is extremely common in O. E. with parti- 
ciples; in more recent periods it is found in many 
other cases as well : — 
: 5 Chauc, A, 1877, •* prey eek for us^ we sinful folk 

unstable " I Chauc,, M. P., 5, 421, "Be- 
seching Aer of mercy and of grace, As sAe 

* KUrne Bdirigi xur AlUngL Grmmntaiikt p. 29; tee alto 
Mitsner, Grmmm^ iii«, 343 ft 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

. ' \ 


that is my lady sovcrcync " | Chauc, Morris, 

in., 12, 325, ''to folwe Aire, as xAr that is 

goddcssc" I Sh., I If. IV^ I, 2, 16, ••by 

Phoibust ki€^ that wandering knight " | Sh., 

Lovis Z., iv«, 3, 7, ••this louc . . • kils 

sheep ; it kils mu, I a sheep " | Sh., Wini. 

r., v., I, 86, ••Prince Florixell . . . with his 

princesse {she The fairest I haue yet beheld) " 

I Sh., I H. IV., ii., 4, 1 14, •• I am not yet of 

PercUs mind, the Hotspurre of the North, 

hi that killes me some sixe or seauen dozen of 

Scots - * I Shelley, Poet. W., 250, •• Know ye 

not ine. The Titan ? he who made his agony 

the barrier to your else all-conquering foe ? ** 

Relative attraction may, of course, have also been 

at work in some of these sentences ; and the following 

example (which I quote from A. Gil, Logonomia, 

1619, p. 77) might be accounted for in no less than 

three of my paragraphs (154, 156, 163). This 

illustrates the complexity of the mutual relations of 

grammatical cat^ories : — 

•• Sic etiam casus inter duo verba, nunc cum hoc, 

nunc oxm illo construitur: vt. Let Tomas 

cum in, J mcin hT Sat kam yisterdai : aut I 

men him ". 

What is the reason of the accusative in Sh., Cymb,, 

v., 4, 70, •• we came, our parents and vs twaine " ? 

164* (109) There is a peculiar form of anacoluthia, 

' Compare, for a fuller treatment of horoinattvet in appoti- 
tion to genitives, f aaa (t below. 


>cf by Google 



4 .. 

■* ■( 


which for want of a better name I shall term uncon- 
necUd subject. In English this phenomenon is not 
confined to those exclamations of surprise or remon- 
strance in which it is common in many languages 
(Dan., "Du gore detl Han. i Paris?" French, "Toi 
faire 5a I Lui avare ? " Italian, " lo far questo ! " 
Latin, '' Mene incepto desistere victam ? " etc.), but is 
found in other cases as well, especially after oimT, by 
which the subject is more or less loosely connected 
with a preceding sentence.^ I shall here in the first 
place give some quotations in which the case employed 
is the same as would have been used had the thought 
been expressed fully and in more regular forms : — 
Sk, Lavis £., iii., 191,** What ? / loue ! / sue I 
/seeke a wife I " | ibid., 202. " And / to sigh 
for her, to watch for her," etc. | Meas., ii., 
3, 5, '' all ages smack of this vice, and lu To 
die for't" | As, iii., 2, 161," Heauen would 
that shee these gifts should haue, and / to 
Hue and die her slaue " ( - I should) | Tim., 
iii., I, 50, '' Is't possible the world should so 
much differ, And we aliue that liued?" | 
Macb., i., 7, 58 (455), '' If we should faile?— 
We faile I *• (Here, however, the best ieading 
seems to be "We faile." with a full stop, the 
verb being taken as an indicative) | R. IL, 
iv., I, 129, '* And shall the figure of God's 
Maiestie • • • Be iudg'd by subiect, and in* 

*The phenomenon was more frequent from the fifteenth to 
the seventeenth century than it it now. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


ferior breathe, And ^ himself not present ?" 1 

I Milton, 5. A^ 1480, " Much rather I 
[Manoa] shall choose To live the poorest in i 

my tribe, than richest, And A€ in that cala- 
mitous prison left " [ - if Samson is left . . .] ! •: 
I Field., T./., ii., 8$, '' A young woinan of • \ 
your age, and unmarried, to talk of inclina- ^ 
tions I " I G. Eliot, MiU, ii., 149, " / say any- j \ 
thing disrespectful of Dr. Kenn ? Heaven 
forbid ! " | ibid., ii., 307, " Could anything be < 
more detestable ? A girl so much indebted \ \ 
to her friends . • . to lay designs of winning , ^ 
a young man's affections away from her own 
But in the following instances the nom. is used, 1 
although the construction, if rq^larly completed, 
would have led to the use of an accusative : — 

Chaucer, E.^ 105, ** I dar the better aske of yow a _ ^ • 

space Of audience to shewen our requeste, \ 1 

Andye^ my lord, to doon ryght as yow leste" 
I Malory, 71, *'hym thought no worship to . -^ '. 

have a knyght at suche auaille, ^ to be on 
horsback and /a on foot '' | Sh., As^ i., 2, 
279, ** What he is indeede. More suites you 
to conceiue, then / to speake of" (Kellner * 
quotes from Sh. also fi/r., i., i, 33 ; AlTs, 
ii., I, 186 ; Timon^ iv., 3, 266) | Cor.^ iii„ 2, 
83, " the soft way which . . . Were fit for ^ ! 

* Introd. to BUmehardyn, p. Ixvii. ff«; Kellner'^ explanation 
<lo«« not •eem very clear. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




thee to vse, as tAey to clay me ** (compare also 
Cor., HI, 2, 124, and ii., 2, 54). 
166. (109) Similarly where no infinitive is used» 

but a participle or some other word : — 

[Chaucer, F., 700,'' What coudea sturdy husbond 
more deuyse To preue hir wyihood and hir 
stedfastnesse, And Ae continuing euer in 
sturdinesse?"] | MaL, 95, ''whan Balen sawe 
her lye so with the fowlest knyghte that 
euer he sawe and sAe a fair 4ady, thennc 
Balyn wente thurgh alle the chambers " | 
Marlowe, Tamb., 244, ''Me thinks I see kings 
kneeling at his feet, And hi with frowning 
browes and fiery lookes Spuming their 
crownes" | Sh., Romeo, 537, "good manners 
shall lie all in one or two men's hands and 
//i9^ vnwasht too'* | Lear, iii., 6, 117, "that 
which makes me bend makes the king bow, 
He childed as / fathered I" | Field., T. /, 
ii., 249, " I thought it hard that there should 
be so many of them, all upon one poore man, 
and he too in chains " | Meredith, Trag. Com., 
165, " let her be hunted and I not by [and 
let me not be by ; when I am not by], beast 
it is with her " | Ward, David Grieve, iii, 
133, " It made her mad to see their money 
chuckled away to other people, and ibey 
getting no good of it ". 
In some of these sentences the construction might 

be called a kind of apposition ; in others we have 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


something closely resembling the absolute participle, 
of which more will be said below, § 183; the use of 
an ''unconnected subject ** may have favoured the 
substitution of the modem ** absolute nominative '* for 
the old *' absolute dative ". 

166. (109) Sometimes the phenomenon mentioned 
in S 164, of an unconnected subject with an infinitive, 
corresponds very nearly to the Latin accusative with 
the infinitive, only the nominative is used : — ^ 

Malory, 40, '* this is my counceill • . . that we 
lete purueyx kny^tes men of good fame, & 
tAey to kept this swerd " | ibid., 60, ^* for it 
is better that we slee a coward than thorow 
a coward alle W€ to be slayne ^ \ ibid.^ 453 
(quoted by Kellner), " Thow to lye by our 
moder is to muche shame for vs to suffire ^ \ 
ibid.^ I33i "And thenne hadde she me 
deuysed to be kyng in this land, and soo to _ 
regne, and slu to be my quene **• 
But this use of a nominative with the infinitive does 
not occur often enough to be a permanent feature of 
the English language. 

' Where the subject is a noun it is impossible to see which 
case is used ; comp. Ancr. /?., 364, "is hit nu wisdom mon 
to don so wo him suluen ? *' | Malory, 67, ^ it is gods wyll youre 
body to be punysshed *' | thid.^ 93, ** it is the customme of my 
countrey a knyghte alweyes to kepe his wepen with hym '* | 
Sh., Winl. T., v., 14a, "Which . • • Is all as monstrous . . . 
As my Antigonus to breake his graue "• Modern Bngl. here 
has /or : ** it is wisdom for a man to do . • • ** ; compare the full 
And able treatment of this use of /or, in C Stoffel's Stndm in 
Rng^k. p. 49 E 

~" Digitized by LjOOQIC 


I IV. Inflnenod ftom the Nouns. 

167. (ii6) The absolute absence of any formal 
distinction between the nominative and the objective 
cases in the nouns and adjectives, as well as in the 

r| neuter pronouns /V; Ma/, and wAa/^ must of course 

do a great deal towards weakening the sense of case 
distinctions in general. 

168. (117) This is especially seen to be the case 
I where the pronouns are themselves taken substan- 
j tively, for then the normal case-inflexion 'is naturally 

suspended This happens in two ways: either a 

, pronoun is plucked Irom its context and quoted by 

I itself, as in these examples : — 

; Sh., A/rSf ii., I, 81, '^ write to her a loue-line. 

What Aer is this ? ** \ Tennyson, Beckett act 

L, sc I, '^ It much imports me I should know 

her name. What fter? The woman that 

! I followed hither " | Frank FairUgh^ ii., 19, 

I •• so he left her there. • And who may her 

be?' inquired Freddy, setting grammar at 


i' or else a pronoun is used exactly like a noun, //^ or 

'i ski signifying a male or a female respectively. This 

f; is extremely common in Shakespeare (see A1. 

Schmidt's Sh. Lex.); a few examples will here 

suffice: — 

Bale, Three Lowes, 1439, '' I am non other, but 
even the very Ar" | Sh., Tw. N.. i., S, 259, 
"Lady, you are the cruell'st shee alive" | 
Wini.T., IV., 4, 360, " to load my sh^ with 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


knackes** | As, Hi., 2, lo, "caruc on cucry 

tree The faire, the chaste and vnexpressiue 

sAie" I L(w/s L., v., 2, 469, *• we . . . woo'd 

but the signe o{ she"" \ Cytnb., I., 3, 29, •*thc 

x>l^x of Italy". 

So also as the first part of a compound : a she 

angel, you ski knight errant (Sh., Wint., iv., 4, 211 ; 

2 H. IV., V. 4, 25) ; comp. :— 

Byron, v., 230, ''The pardon'd slave of she 
Sardanapalus *' | ibid., v., 245, *' wearing 
Lydian Omphale's She-garb '*. 
But in the nineteenth century it is often the objec- 
tive case that is used thus substantively : — 

Troll., Duke's Ch., \., 94, "that other him is 
the person she loves " | ibid., 94, '' reference 
to some lUm"* \ Gilbert, Orig. Plays, 1884, 
129 (vulgar), "Mr. Fitz Partington shall 
introduce him. — It ain't a him, it's a lur!* 
In philosophical language, the me and the thee are^ 
often used corresponding to the German das ic/i, das 
dui — 

Carlyle, Sartor, 35, •• Who am 1 ; what is this 
ME?" I ibid., n, "our ME the only reality •• 
I ibid., 39, -that strange THEE of thine" | 
ibid., 92, " a certain orthodox Anthromorph- 
ism connects my Me with all Tlues in bond of 
Love" I Viyx%\C\xi,Seliaions, \., 503, " But this 
poor miserable Me I " | Meredith, Egoist, 
489, ^ the miserable little mt^ to be taken up 
and loved after tearing myself to pieces I " 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Yet the nom. is sometimes found : — 
Carlyle, Sarti^n 132. " the THOU " (Mrs. Ward, 
Dav. Grieve^ iii., 86, " Was there any law— 
any knowledge — any /?" | L. Morris, PceL 
Works^ 121, ** And the / is the giver of light, 
and without it the master must die''. 
An English friend of mine once told me about a 
clergyman who in one of his sermons spoke con- 
stantly of your immortal /, but was sadly misunder- 
stood by the congr^[ation, who did not see why the 
^€ should be more immortal than any other part 
of the body. It is perhaps to avoid such misinter- 
pretations that the Latin form is sometimes used, 
as in Thack., Pend., iii., 363, ^ every man here has his 
secret ego likely ''• 

169. (118) When the pronoun is preceded by an 
adjective, it is sometimes inflected in the usual way 
(** poor / had sent a hundred thousand pounds to 
] America; would you kill poor m€?^* and similar 

; I examples are quoted by Storm, E. PkUol.^ 208, note) ; 

' > but in other places we find it treated like a 

I substantive: — 

. ,' Sh., Sonn. 72, " upon deceased /" | ibid.^ Cor.^ v., 

3, 103, ''topoore ccv. Thine enmities most 
In exclamations m€ is always used : — 
Sh., Sonn. 37, "then ten times happy me/** \ 
» ' • Thack., Van. F., 1 20, •* Poor little me/** 

y. Compare the use of mt^ in other exclamations : 0(X) 

me/ Wee me/ Ah me/ Ay me / (Milt^ P. L., iv., 




S6, etc.)» 4^^ ^^ diUsted I (Sh^ Tw. N.^ v., 142), Alas 
nu I (Keats, Ev€ of St. Agnes, xii.)» Me miserable / 
(Milt., P. Z., iv., 73), etc. The use of ffse in dear me ! 
gracUms me I and other apologies for oaths is probably 
due to the analogy of the corresponding use of the 
pronoun as an object after a verb, as in bless me I etc 
So perhaps also in Shale, i H. IV., it, 3, ^j^^Gods 
me, my horse ". . 

V. Position. 

170. (119) Word-order is to no small extent 
instrumental in bringing about shiftings of the 
original relation between two cases. In Old English 
prose the subject is already placed before the verb 
in nearly every sentence ; the exceptions are almost 
the same as in Modem German or Danish; thus 
inversion is the rule after adverbs such as Jm (while, 
curiously enough, the subject precedes the verb 
where tJie clause is introduced by hweet Jhi or efiif 
t>d), By-and-by these exceptions disappear or are 
reduced to a minimum, so that in Modem English 
the order, subject, verb, object, is practically invari- 
able.^ Cooper defines the difference between the 
nom. and the ace in the pronouns in the following 
manner : • " /, tlum^ he, she, we, ye, they, verbis antc- 
ponuntur, me, thee, him, her, us^yau, them, postponuntur 
verbis & praepositionibus "• However naTve the 
grammarian may find this definition, it contains a 

^ See above, especially § 73 on lio in interrogative propoei- 

' See his Gtamm. Lingum AngUama, 1685, p. xax. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


T ;i 


good deal of truth ; this is the perception of the distinc- 
tion between the two forms which in Ae popular 
instinct often overrides the older perception according 
li to which the use of / and uu was independent of 


;l 17L (120) Before Uu verb the nom. comes to be 

used in many cases where the ace. was requu^ by 
the rules of tiie old language. Besides a few isolated 
instances, that may be more or less doubtful/ this is 
j I the case with who^ as the natural position of this pro- 

noun is always at the banning of the sentence, the 
' verb, as a rule, following immediately after it. For 
Middle English examples otwho and whom see below, 
!* , S 178 f it would be an easy matter to find hundreds of 

examples from the Modem English period ; I shall 
here print only a few selected from my own collections 
:j to supplement the numerous examples adduced by 

Y ' Sftorm {Engl. P/iiloL, 3 1 1 ff.) :— 

J Marl., Tamb.^ 4190, " UWio haue ye there, my 

;j Lordes ? " | Greene, Friar B., i, 143, " Espy 

{ her loves, and wlio she liketh best'' | Sh., 

Tw. M, ii., 5, 108, •' loue knowes I loue, but 
\\ who^ Lips do not mooue, no man' must 

know- I ibid.. Wintry., i, 109, "[she might] 
« make proselytes oiwho she but bid follow " | 

: \ ibid., i., 2, 331, ** my sonne (w/io I doe thinke 

is mine, and loue as mine) '* | Spectator. No. 

' See, for instance, Sh., Meat., iii., i, aai, *' Ska should this 
Angelo haue married : was afl&anced to her [by] oath, and the 
nuptial! appointed,** where most editors emend iki to k$r. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


266, *' who should I see there but the most 
artful procuress?" | ibid,^ 59, '' tc;//^ should I 
see in the lid of it [a snuflT-box] but the 
Doctor?- I Dryden, •* Tell who loves who"" \ 
Sheridan, Dram. IV., 39, '* who can he take 
after?" | idu/., 48, *' who can he mean by 
that?" (cf. Md., 69) I Thack., Van. F., 74, 
*' W/io^ I exclaimed, can we consult but Miss 
P,?" I Mrs. H. Ward. Rob. Eism., ii., 141 
(Lady Helen says), •* W/io does this dread- 
ful place belong to?" 
172. (120) As r^;ards Shakespeare's use of who 
in the objective case, it must suffice to refer to Al. 
Schmidt's Lexicon ; under the interrogative pronoun 
he gives fifteen quotations for the use in question, 
and then adds an etc.^ which, to any one familiar 
with the incomparable accuracy and completeness 
of Schmidt's work, is certain proof that examples- 
abound ; finally he names nineteen places where 
the old editions do not agree. Under the relative 
pronoun he adduces twelve quotations for wlu> as an 
ace, followed again by an etc,^ and by eleven refer- 
ences to passages in which the oldest editions give 
different readings. It is well worth noting that 
where such variations of reading are found it is 
nearly always the earliest edition that has wlio and 
the later editions that find fault with this and replace 
it by whom; most modem editors and reprinters 
add the -im everywhere in accordance with the rules 
of grammars, showing thereby that they hold in 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


5 ; 


greater awe the schoolmasters of their own childhood 
than the poet of ail the ages.^ 

Shakespeare also uses whoever as an accusative; 
whomever does not occur in his works; he also 
sometimes uses wlio after a preposition (see Abbott, § 
274, and add to his examples, R. IIL^ i., 3, 54), but 
this seems now obsolete, because the natural word- 
order is to place the preposition at the end oi the 
sentence, as Shakespeare does himself in numerous 
passages; for instance, As^ iii., 2, 327, '' He tell you 
who Time ambles withall, who Time trots withal), 
who Time gallops withal, and who he stands stil 
withal ". It seems, then, as if the last refuge of the 
form whom is the combination than whom^ where it 
had originally nothing to do ; but as this combina- 
tion belongs more to literary than to everyday 
language, who is now to be considered almost as a 
common case ; compare what Sweet writes to Storm : 
** I think many, educated people never use whom at 
all ; always who ". 

173. (121) A great many verbs which in Old 
English were impersonal have become personal in 
Modem English, and one of the causes which most 
contributed to this change was certainly word-order. 
The dative, indicating the person concerned, was 

* Schmidt hat five insUnces from Shakespeare of wAo/ii 

(relative) for who ; one it after ikon ; three might be added to 

. thoee I gave above in ( 155; the fifth (T^mp.^ \\ 76) it tn 

anacoluthia, which it corrected at early at in the tecond 

folio. ~ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


generally placed immediately before the impersonal 
verb; the reason of this position was undoubtedly 
the greater interest felt for the person, which caused 
the word indicating him to take a prominent place 
in the sentence as well as in the consciousness of the 
speaker. And so this "psychological subject,'* as it 
has been termed, eventually became the grammatical 
subject as well But other, circumstances favoured 
the same tendency. Some verbs in O. E. admitted 
of both a personal and impersonal construction, e^.p 
recan, " to care '* ; compare from the thirteenth century 
the After. RiwU^ p. 104, where one MS. has ^'5 if heo 
beo8 feor, itu ne recched," and another '^^ach ha 
beon feor, naut / ne recche ". In one case, two origin- 
ally distinct verbs grew to be identical in pronuncia- 
tion by a purely phonetic development, namely O. E. 
kyncan^ "seem** (German diinken)^ impersonal, and 
piHcan^ ** think " (Germ. deHk€n\ personal. In the _ 
former the vowel y by the usual process lost its lip- 
rounding and so became 1 ; in the latter e was raised 
to i before the back nasal consonant, as in O. E. streng^ 
Mod. string, O. E. hlenu, mod. Unk^ O. E. Englaland, 
Mod. England, pronounced with [i] ; compare also the 
history of the words mingle, wing, cringe, singe, etc ; 

The number of verbs that have passed from the im- I 

personal to the personal construction is too great for 1 

me here to name them all ; I shall refer to the lists 
given by Koch, Gram., ii., § 109; Matzner, ii., p. 
198 fl*.; Einenkel, Streifxiige, p. 114 flT.; and Kell- 
ner, Blanehardyn, p. xlvii. fl*. But I shall supple- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





' ii 

ment the remarks of these scholars by attempting to 
anal)rse the psychological agencies at work in the tran- 
sition ; I shall for this purpose print those examples 
fixMn my own collection which seem to be the most 
illustrative, confining myself generally to only a few 
of the most usual verbs coming under this head. 

174. (122) The original construction will be seen 
from the following quotations i^ 

Ancr. R., 238, '' nu luste slepen " | Chauc, B^ 

1048, *^ hir UsU nat to daunce** | Bale, 

Three L.^ 1264, ''And maye do what/nVv 

/Wx/- I Ancr. R., 338, "hit mei lutel Uken 

God [dative], and misliken ofte" | Chauc, 

M. P., 22, 63, "al that /ur list and lyketl^ 

I ibid.^ Morr./iix.^ 145, *'whan kirn likeih*^ 

I Malory, loo, '' I shold fynde yow a 

damoysel . . . that shold fyke yow & 

plese yow ^ [the two verbs are synonymous] 

I Greene, Friar B., 4, 55, ** this motion tikes 

me well " | Sh., /fe////., il, 2, 80, " It tikes vs 

'. ; : well •' I ibid., TroiL, v., 2, 102, ** I doe not like 

I ; this fooling . . . But that that tikes not you 

pleases vte best ** | Milton, Reason of Clturch 

Govemm.f ii., ** much better would it like kirn 

^ to be the messenger of gladness *' | Thack., 

;* \ Van. F., 89, "Some [women] arc made to 

scheme, and some to love : and I wish any 

y i respected bachelor • • • may take the sort 

i; that best /libx^iMV 

J. ' ^Like b here used in the okl tense of plesue; this it now*t* 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



Chauc, Af. P.f 3, 276 (and very often), "^metnette 
[I dreamt] so inly swete a sweven " | Ancr.^ 
R.,\l6/' hit schal J}UfuJu}>e swete *• | Chauc, 
B., 4578, " /um thoughte hir herte breke " | 
MaIory,65 (four times)/' A/MiM^iffA/^'' | Lati- 
mer (Skeafs Spec,^ xxi.,91), "//i^ thynketh I 
heare" | " methinks, methoHgla{sy\ 
VJ6. (123) In many cases it is impossible to de- 
cide whether the verb is used personally or imper- 
sonally, as» for example, when it stands with a noun 
or with one of the pronouns that do not distin- 
guish cases. It goes without saying that the fre- 
quency of such combinations has largely assisted 
in bringing about the change to modem usage. A 
few examples will suffice : — 

Ahct. R.^ 286, "hwon J)e luorU likeS wel, ))eonne 
cumeS up a dcuocioun " | Chauc, Morr.^ 
ill., 147, "al that hir Itotisbonde likede for ^ 
to seye " | ibid.^ B.^ 477, " God list to shewe 
his wonderful miracle" | ibid.^ Morr.^ iii., 
145, " hem tliai liste not to heere his wordes ** 
\ibid., B., 4302, "how Kenelm $neiU a 
thing •'. 
The construction is similarly not evident in the 
case of an accus. with the infinitive*: — 

days extremely rare. In Middle English like wm often used with 
to.* Chauc, Mwrt.^ iii., 191, **what day that it like yow and 
««/o your noblesse " | ibid^ E., 345, ••It lykcth to your fader and 
to me *'. Compare Chauc, Morr^ iii., 172, •• it displeseth to the 
jugget," but 183, ••displese God ". 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



: \'-:- 

1 , !! 

• • *'. ii 

. ■■ ;, 

1^. i 

■jt : ; 

Chauc, M. P., 5, io8, ''That made me to nuW' 
I ibid.^ 1 1 $9 ** [thou] madesi me this sweven 
for to mete\ 
176. (124) The transition to the new construction 
is shown by the possibility of joining two synonyms, 
of which one has always been a personal verb : — 
Prov. of Alfred (Specimens, I, p. 148), " J>at ye 
alle a-drede vre dryhten crista luuyen hine 
and lykyen " | Malory, 35, " the kynge fyked 
and loued this lady wel '*• 
As early as Chaucer we find passages in which 
a nominative is understood from an impersonally 
constructed verb to a following verb of personal 
construction : — 

^•* 373 1 • ** For drede of this, /tim thoughte tliat 

he deyde, And [he] ran into a gardin, him 

to hyde" | M. P., 7, 200, '*/ter liste him 

' dere herte * calle And [she] was so meek '' 

I M. P., 5, 165, " Yit lyketh him at the 

wrastling for to be, And [he] demeth yit 

wher he do bet or he *". 

Sometimes both constructions are used almost in 

a breath : — * 

Ch., L. G. IV., 1985, " me is as wo For him as 
ever / was for any man " | Malory, 74, 
** Arthur loked on the swerd, and fyJked^ it 

' See also below, $ 193. 

* This and the just mentioned are the only examples of 
personal (or rather half*personal) use of fyk$ I have noted in 
Malofy, who generally uses the ace. (dat.) with it, #<., 61, *'it 
lyketh you •* | 157, •• yf hit lyke yow ". 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


passynge wel; whether fyJket/i yew better, 

said Merlyn, the suerd or the scaubard? 

Aft lyketh better the swerd, sayd Arthur '^ | 

Greene, Friar B., 6, 138, " P^fgy, how like 

you [nom.] this? — What likes my lord is 

pleasing unto me** | Sh., TroiL^ above, § 174. 

In Ch., M. P., 5, 1 14, '*[thou] dauntest whom thee 

lest,*' some of the manuscripts read thou^ probably in 

order to avoid the two accusatives after each other. 

177« (125) Sometimes the impersonal expression is 
followed by a connexion of words that is strictly 
appropriate only after a personal verb :— 

Ancr. /?., 332, ** Ase ofte ase ich am ischriuen, 
euer me JmncheS me unschriuen (videor mihi 
non esse confessus) " | ibid,^ i96,"swetcstAii« 
xm [the nuns : they appear to him 
it lovely]" I Chauc, E., 106," For 
1, so wel vs lyketh yow And all your _ 
ever han doon ". 

n is of especial interest as showing 
f no less than three constructions : \\ 

(truction with us lyketh as a third 
no object, the old personal con- 
t means " to please,'* us lyken ye^ 
lern personal use, we lyken yow ; 
and ever han doon '* ( « " and we 
ou ") shows that the last construc- 
If present to Chaucer's mind. 

Prof, Skeat would have it in his note to 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


• J*' » 

1 ■{ 

. f i 'I'l 


, 'l 


Other blendings of a similar nature are found witli 
. Hunk; tne flunks and / think are confused in me 
thinki^ found, for instance, in a sermon of Latimer's 
{Skeafs Specitnens, xxi., 176);^ Hunks Hue? and 
ilunkst thou? give thinkst t/iee? in Shakespeare's 
HiunUt^y.^ 2, 63 (folio; the old quartos have tliinke 
thee; some modern editors write thinkst thee, as if con- 
tracted for thinks it thee ; but this is hardly correct, 
as this verb is very seldom used, with //, at least when 
a personal pronoun is added). 

178« (126) Note particularly w/u> in the following 
sentences : — 

Ancr. R.f 38, *'htsM se puncheif to longe lete ])e 

, psalmes " | Chauc, B,, 3509, *' Hir batailes, 

tvho so iist hem for to rede . . . Let him 

vnto my maister Petrark go" | Sh., Troilus, 

! \ L, 398, *• and wfto-so liste it here ". 

ij These we may consider either the oldest examples 

• || olwho as an accusative (centuries before any hitherto 

i pointed out), or else the oldest examples of O. £. 

I Jfjmcan and fystan used personally.* I suppose, how- 

.'i ■: ; 
I I 'Compare also RoisUr Dom/^, 71, ** me thinke they make 

-; i preparation ... me think they dare not,*' where ihinke teems 

to be in the plural on account of the following th^. 

*The Chaucer quotations given by Einenkel (Sinifzugty 
p. 115) are too dubious to prove the personal use oikilen : iii., 
I (» P. 689), the Ellesm. MS. reads, «* For he to vertu UstttOh 
not entende " [what is enUnde here ? a noun ? an adv. ? (i^^ ^^ 
ende ? ?). I understand it no more than did those scribes who 
placed U$ie^ instead of Mnethl ; iv., 136, has tluU^ which may 
as wtU be acc« as dat. ; finally, ii., 368, proves nothing, at tome 





ever, that the correct way of viewing tliese sentences 
is to say that the two tendencies, neither of which , f/ 

was strong enough to operate by itself, here combined ; \ 

to bring about a visible result : , * 

179* (127) Here I shall finally give a few ex- 
amples of the prevailing personal use : — '■{ *i 
Sh,, Rom., 37, " as l/tey lisr \ Milton, P. L., iv., i 1 
804, ''ds hi lisf I Gesta Rant. (ab. 1440, :| 
quoted by Kellner), ""J^m shalt like it** \ 
(in Elizabethan language also like of) \ 
Greene, Friar B., 10, 45, " if t/um pUase** \ .J. 
Sh., SArew, iv., 3, 70, "as / ^ase'"^] 
Chauc, £., 3930, " And eek a sweuen vpon 
a nyghte /u tnette ". 
In some cases the personal construction has not 
become universal, as in the case of aii(0. E. eglan). 3 ; 
Though Dr. Murray is able to show the personal use 
of the word in a quotation as early as 1425, and _ 
though Shakespeare never uses it impersonally (comp. 
also Marlowe, Jew, \ 193, •• What ayl'st thou "), the old 
construction still survives. The reason is undoubtedly 
the fact that the verb is so very often used in the 

■ ■ '1 

MSS. read ««if the list,** not thou. Kellner, Blanchard., xlix., ;: 

quotes EinenkePs two examples, showing that he has found I > 

no more examples in Chaucer, while he has some from Caxton. i > 1 ' I 

Compare, however, M. P., 7, aoo^ quoted above, § 176. I • ! . . J 

' Milton, P. L., vi., 351, shows the personal use ofpUau and » [ V' * 

the impersonal use of Uhi : " As they ptsau. They limb them- ^ ' • • f / 
selves, and colour, shape, and sixe, Assume, as lihu them best, 

condense or rare*'. Compare ibid., vi., 717. f ''] 


•*- -u 



«-• t 

. ' i.'l 

/ ', i' 

. ) 

J ,) 

•i , 

' •: common formula : IVAat ails Idtn ? (her, etc.), where 

the personal pronoun is placed after the verb ; see, e^., 

. i SiriA, 337; Chauc, A. 1170, 1975, 4680; H., 16; M. 

M P., 3, 449, etc., etc. ; Tennyson, p. 132 : *• What ail'd 

': her then ? •• G. Eliot, MiU, i., 80, " there's nothing ails 


I With seem the shifting observable in the case of 

t Uke^ etc., has not taken place, although there were 

formerly tendencies in this direction; Kellner Ogives 

two instances from old wills of the personal use (with 

the person to whom it seems, in the nom.), and in 

Somersetshire */j9iVm now meatus ''it seems to me" 

exactly as the Danish jeg synesf The following 

examples of a corresponding use I give with some 

diffidence: — 

i Malory, 76^ '•So whan the kynge was come 

. ^ thyder with all his baronage and lodged as 

they semed best " ; comp., on the other hand, 

^ I; ibid.^ 77, ''mesemiih** \ Spalding, Eng. Lit., 

358, **we seem often as if we were listening to 

; !j an observant speaker *'• 

' j , \ 180. (128) I must here mention the history of 

some peculiar phrases. When the universal tendency 

] \ to use impersonal expressions personally seized upon 

the idiom me were tiever (or me were as lief), the 

*L.<;,p.l. Kellner does not seem to be right in asserting that 
the O. E. verb means ^ think, believe **• 

• Blworthy, WordAtook (B.D.a), p. 8sx. 
Danish offers a great many psrallelt to the English develop- 
ment of personal constructions out of impersonal 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


resulting personal construction came in contact with ''r'\ 

the synonymous phrase / AaJ liever (or Iliad as lUf)^ . •'- 

and a considerable amount of confusion arose in this '. \ 

as well as in the kindred combinations with as good^ V ^ 

better^ best, ratlur. I give some instances of the 
various constructions found, starring those in which - ^ 

the case employed seems to run counter to lo«;ic:— ] 

Oras.^ 220, 26, '*him leaf re uxts Jiaet ..." | Ancr. . .1 

R.^ 230, *^ham was lioun uorte adrenchen 
ham sulf )>en uorte beren ham *' | ibid., 242, 
««aQlf#>n J>e hwat U ivere Uouest^ \ Sirith, ;: 

t were levere then ani fe That he '* c' 

les leien bi me" | Chauc, B.^ 1027, . ; 

ie [var. 1. *Hire /laddel lever a knyf 
jt hir brest, than ben a womman 
ibid., C 760. •' if that j^^w be so Uef \ ^] 

deeth " [two MSS. V *^. others to 
'bid,E,,44^^**d\had*hirUuerhsAxe_ , 

naue child" | Malory, 87, '/u had j 1; 

ig Lotte had been slayne than f i 

thur " I ibid., 92, " / /tad Uuer mete ! x'^ ' 

: knyght"! Sh., Cor.^ iv., 5, 186, ii 

r line be a condemn'd man *'• ^- 1 ' f 

^•» 5. 51 ^ "////« tcvr^f as good be » ;. 

*^^-. 5. 571. "yet were it bet for \ *: 

! hold thy pees" | Bale, Three L., \\\ 

^hu were moch better to kepe thy 
'lUdall, RoisUr, ^6, "V were ' . > ! 

Tor a while to reuiue againe** | '^. >' 

:o me CB I have (hold) him dear. -. ; 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

\ • ," 



!•; '■■' 


. -•! 

, t 


Marlowe, y^tt^y 1 798, •• Vi€ were best to send it '* 
(c£ ibid.^ 869, 1851, 1908) i Sh., Meas.^ iiL, 2, 
38, ***he were as good go a mile" | ibid,^ As, 
liL, 3, 92, ** ♦/ ««vr^ A^//^ to bee married " | 
ibid., R. III., iv., 4, 337, " What tivfv •/ best 
to say?" I ibid.. Shrew, v., i, 108, "Then 
*tAou wert best saie that I am not Lucentio ** 
I ibid., Cymb., iii., 6, 19, " V were best not 
call " I Milton, 5. ^., 1061, *" But >lEA/«f^ ^/ 
retire?" | Field., T. Jones, \\., no, •'Your 
La*ship had almost as good be alone" | 
Thack., Pend., iii., 131, ^^ you had much best 
not talk to him ". 
Marlowe, Jew, 147, ^^ Rather had I a Jew be 
hated thus, Then pittied '' | Sh., i?. //., iii., 
3, 192, " ^Me rather had, my heart might 
feele your loue ^. * 

* Those who object to the form had in ** / had rather $pcak 
ihan be siUni,** etc. (tee for instance a letter from Robert 
Browning in Mrs. Orr*8 Handbooh, 6th ed., p. 14), seem 
wrongly to take rather as an adverb instead of an adjective ; 
it is incorrect to urge that the omission of the adverb would 
. ,1 '* alter into nonsense the verb it qualifies,*' for had ranker is to 

be taken as a whole, governing the following infinitive. Had 
• y rather is used by the best authors, by Shakespeare at least 

some sixty times, while would rathsr is comparatively rare in 
. ' I his writings and generally confined to such cases as Two Gent., 

• 1! v^ 4t 34t '* I ^t*^ haue beene a breakfast to the Beast, Raiher 

\\ :< then have £ilse Protheus reskue me,** where, of course, rather 

I ; belongs only indirectly to would. In an interesting paper* 

t I " Had Rather and Analogous Phrases,*' in the Dutch periodi- 

cal Taatttudie (viii., 216)9 C StofTel shows that so iar firom 


by Google 


\ i 

18L (I3S) I inust here also mention the peculiarity S> : 

of the English language by which not only what : , 

would be the direct object of the active verb but -i 

other parts of the sentence may be made the subject of ' . f 
a fassivi verb. As I have not collected sufficient 

materials to give an exhaustive treatment of this inter- - 4 

esting subject, I shall confine myself to a few remarks. ' \ 

There can be little doubt that nouns were employed ^^ 

kmd rather being an "incorrect graphic expansion** of Vd 
rather instead of / would rather^ the had form historically is - .' 

the better of the two. Stoifel is undoubtedly right in his ;. ^ 

eonclusions ; still it is interesting to notice how the feeling of 

nexion has been lost on account of the \ 

the unstressed forms of had and would 
the popular instinct is already seen in 
//. (iiL, 7, 161), where the folio emends 
>ld quartos into would rather. A further, 
rgetfulness of the old idiom is shown by i 

iction oi should^ as in Conan Doyle, Adv.'' ! ' 

ta8, "Or should you rather that I sent ]\ ^ 

Nor are signs wanting that in other 
ore rather the feeling of the difference :i'j 

uld has become obscured; I shall give i? 

from Tennyson's Bechet (act iil» sc 3)1 
re slain an archbishop than a she-goat^** ' / 

little Cockney, who writes, •• If anybody y !: 

that, I wouldn't have beleeved it" (see '' 'V 

Written fy our Little Onee at School^ by [ ': 

, 1889). A. Trollope writes (Old Man's ' ' 

1 remained here, and have taken me, I -' ^1 

lave flailed then," where, by a singular • .;^ * 

first to have its proper meaning, and 
I equivalent of [9d] ss iiw/i. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


X * 


in this way as ^* free subjects *' of passive verbs at an 
earlier time than pronouns in which thenom. and the 
ace. had distinct forms. I shall arrange my examples 
under four heads.' / "' 

(i) The verb originally governs the dative case, but 
has no direct object in the accusative. Such an in* 
stance as {Ancren Riwle^ 82) God beo iSoncked is not 
quite beyond question, as the form God is used in that 
text in the dative as well as in the nominative ; but 
the following is indubitable, as Louerd is not used as 
a dative : — * 

Ancr, R.^ 8, 'Wre Louerd bco i^oncked.'' | 
Chaucer, L. G. IV., 1984, " He shall be hoi- 
pen " I iUd.f Morr,, iii., 1 1 (compare Einen* 
kel, I II), ** I may be holpe** | Malory, 125, 
" he myght neuer be holpen " | idid., 36, 
"youre herte shalbe plcasyd'' | sdid., 463, 
" he was answerd "• • 
(2) The verb is combined with a preposition ; then 
the word governed by the latter is considered as the 
object of the composite expression (verb and prep.), 
and can therefore be made the subject of a passive 

Maundev., 22 (quoted by Koch), *' Thei ben sent 

^ Cf. Koch, Gram.^ ii., § 147 ff. 

*The dative is hmrtU; see pp. 160, 168, also p. 58, where 
the MS. has louihU according to Kdlbing, and not lousni at 
Morton prints it 

*This is given by Kellner (Bkmekufd., Iv.) as the only 
i> . instance found in Malory. 

i^_ ' ' , , ,, Digitized by VjOO^LC 

• .1 

? 1! 

!^ H 

* ■, 'I 

r ^1 

fore" I Malory, 35, "we were sent for"; 
similarly, though with a noun as the subject 
i&V/., 47, twice, p. 67, p. 38, "Icte hym '• 

be sent for" | Latimer, Spec.^ iii., 21, 46, 
" they wyl not be yl spoken of" | idid.f 251, 
** that whiche I can not leaue vnspoken of 
I Sh., I If. IV.^ iii., 2, 141, •*your vnthought- 
of Harry " | ibid.t i., 2, 225, " Being wanted* 
he may be more wondred at " (see ibid., i., 
3, 154; iii., 2, 47 ; R. II., i., 3, 155, etc) | 
Meredith, Trag. Com., 76, "The desire of 
her bosom was to be run away with in 
person ". 
Compare the somewhat analogous phenomenon in 
After. R., 6, '* sum is old & atelich & is Se Icasse dred 
of" (is dred 0/ is a sort of passive o( kabben dndof) ; ' 
here, however, we have rather a continuation of the 
old use of 1/ as an adverb - " thereof". 

(3) The verb governs both an accusative and a 
dative; in this case there is a growing tendency to 
make the dative the subject when the verb is made 
passive. The oldest examples are 2 — 

Ancr. R., 112, *'he was J>us ileten blod" | ibid., 
260, ** swinkinde men & blod-letene " | ibid., 
\ / 258, •* heo beo8 ileten blod " ; similarly, 262 

'^ (he), 422 (ge, twice). 

It should, however, be remarked that let blood, 
more than most of these combinations, is felt as one 
notion, as is setn also by the participle being used 
attributively (p. 260) and by the verbal noun biod- 

1 ■' 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 



littungi (14, 114). Something approaching the in- 
direct passive construction is found in. the following 

1 ; passage:— 

i;;;. Ancr. R., 180, "jif me^ is iluued more ]>en 

: i,i anoCer, & more ioluhned, more idon god, 

ijl oifer nunski^ 

'} jl ' from which it would perhaps be rash to conclude 

Ij: that the author would have said, for instance, ^'he is 

\ idon god oSer mensker if these ^expressions had not 

] been preceded by the direct passives iluuid (loved) 

and ioiu/iHid (caressed). At any rate these con- 
structions do not become frequent till much later; 
in Chaucer I have found only one instance (Z. G. IV., 
292, *' And some were brend, and some wer cut tltc 
hols **) ; Matzner quotes one from the TaumeUy Mys- 
tiries (" alle my shepe arc gone ; I am not left one ") ; 
Kellner knows none in the whole of Caxton,* which 
may be explained by the fact that Caxton's transla- 
tions closely follow the original French in most 
S3mtactical respects. For examples from Shakespeare 
and recent authors I may refer to Koch, iL, § iS3i ^nd 

; ^ Matzner, ii., p. 229. The following passage shows 

the vacillation found to a great extent even in our 
own century:— 

, ; Sh., Macb., i^- s» 14-17 (305-308), "ignorant 

; ■ > 

' Af# is the indefinite pronoun (imm, man), corresponding to 
/; .^ French M. 

* The dative is used for instance in Malory, 89, " there was 
V ; ' tokl hym the adventure of the swerd ** | *«therefore was gyuea 

5 ;; . Ajfmthepryse". 

1 '";' ; Digitized by VjOCJQI^ 




. ,| 


' I, 

^ l :i 



of what greatnesse is promi^d tliu (in Mac- \t 

beth's letter) . . . Glamys thou art, and '^: 

Cawdor, and shalt be what thtm art i 

promised** (comp. WitU. T., iv., 4, 237, 5 

•* I was promis*d them **). ' 

To this category belongs also such a phrase as the . ^^ 

following: — ^ ^ 

Shak^ As, I, I, 128, ^ I am giuen sir secretly to 

vnderstand that your younger brother . . P. 

(4) The verb beside a direct object has attached 

to it a preposition and a word governed properly by 

the preposition, but coming to be taken as the object 

of die composite expression, verb + object + pre- 

position : — 

" I was taken no notice of^ \ Carlyle, Sartor, 29, 
^ new means must of necessity be had re- 
course to ". 
Here, too, I am able to point out a sentence in the 
Ancren Riwle containing, so to speak, a first germ of 
the construction : — 

Ancr. R., 362, "Nes Seinte Peter & Scinte 

Andrcu istreiht o rode . . • and Mlease 

meidenes i>e tittes ikoruen of, and to-hwi8ered 

o hweoles, & hefdes bikoruen ? ** 

182. This extension of the passive construction is 

no doubt in the first place due to the eflfacement of 

the formal distinction between the dative and the 

accusative ; but a second reason seems to be the same 

fact which we met with before in the case of verbs 

originally impersonal : the greater interest felt for the 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 

• 1 


person makes the speaker place the noun or pronoun 

by which the person is indicated before the direct 

* ; ;| object, as in the sentence : '* He gave the girl a gold 

:^ pi watch**. This makes it natural that in the passive voice 

'J . the dative should be placed at the very beginning of 

the sentence: "The girl was given a gold watch'*. 

i^: But this position immediately before the verb is 

generally reserved for the subject ; so tlu girl, though 

!! originally a dative, comes to be looked upon as a 

;; nominative, and instead oC'^Aer was ^iven a gold 

I watch/* we say, **s/u was given a gold watch". On 

;j the other hand, the nature of these constructions 

' reacts on the feeling for case-distinctions in general ; 

for when "I was taught grammar at school*' comes 

I to mean the same thing as ** me was taught grammar," 

or •' she was told " as " her was told," etc., there is one 

I inducement the more to use the two cases indiscrimi- 

>: * nately in other sentences as well, or at least to 

i distinguish them in a different way from that which 

' i| prevailed in the old language. 

1' 183. No doubt the position before the verb has 

also been instrumental in changing the old oAso/uie 

dative (as seen, for instance, in Chron., 797, **Go(U 

fultomiendum, God helping") into the modern nomi- 

; 1 native. 

^ y A few instances will show that the modern construc- 

; tion was fully established in Shakespeare's time : — ' 

f ^' *See also Mfitxner, iii., 75 fil; Koch, ii., 130 if. I have not 

<; - had access to Rou*t disterUtion, Th$ Absoluts PartidpU in 

Middk mnd Modsrk Bnf^lisk (Johns Hopkins Univ., 1893). 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 



Sh., FiHus, loio, " For //# being dead, with him 
is beauty slain " | idu/,, Cymb., il.,4, 8, •• they 
[the hopes] faylinf?, I must die" | ibid,, iii,, 
5, 64, *' Slue being downe, I hauc the plac- 
ing of the British crowne " \ ibid., Temp.^ v., i , . 
28, " t/uy being penitent, the sole drift of my 
purport doth extend Not a frownc further** -V; 

I ibid., Cor.^ v,, 4, 37, " and lu returning to 
breake our necks, they respect not vs " | ibid.^ 
R. III., iv., 2, 104, '' How chance the propliet 
could not at that time Haue told me, / being ^ 

by, that I should kill him *' | ibid.. Errors, ^ , 

ill., 2, 87, "not that / beeing a beast she 
would haue me**. 
Gil.i in his Logonomia, 1619, p« 69, mentions the ;' 

modem construction only, showing thereby that the 
old one was completely forgotten at that time, even ^ / 

by learned men : — • 1 

** Nominatiuus absolutus apud Anglos ita vsurpa- i /; 

tur, vti apud Latinos Ablatiuus: vt I bling ) .\ 

prezent, hi durst not have dun it. ... Hi /> \ . 

bling in trubl, hiz frindz forsiik him.** '' \\ 

We are, therefore, astonished to find Milton using : :'* 

the old dative towards the end of that century : — ; , 

P. L., ix., 130, **and him destroyed ... all this 
will soon follow" | ibid., vii., 142, *'by whose 
aid This inaccessible high strength, the seat of ;* ; ! 

Deity supreme, us dispossessed. He trusted to \^^^ 

have seized" | Sams., 463, ''Dagon hath pre- ! ; * 

sum'd,^if overthrown^ to enter lists with God **• 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



But this peculiar use of Milton's is undoubtedly 
due rather to an imitation of Latin syntax than to a 
survival of the Old English construction, and Milton 
. in other places employs the nominative: — 

P. L., ix.» 312, "^ while shame, tAou looking 
on . • . Would utmost vigour raise" j itid., 
I ix., 884/' Lest, tAou not tasting, different 

il degree Disjoin us **. 

* I have already mentioned that the phenomenon I 

termed ** unconnected subject *' may have contributed 

. ;] something towards the growth of the absolute nomi- 

; ;.i; native, see { 165 ; I shall here call attention to 

f ! ' another circumstance that may have favoured this 

construction, namely, that in such sentences as the 

;' ,- following an apposition (in the nominative) is 

'\^ practically not to be distinguished from the absolute 

' ■; construction : — 

Field., Tom /ones, ii., 43, "The lovers stood both 

^1 silent and trembling, SofiAia being unable to 

' ij withdraw her hand from Jones, and he al- 

; most as unable to hold it ** | C. Doyle, SlurL 

Holmes, i., 36, " they separated, he driving 

back to the Temple, and she to own house". 

It is true that these sentences are modem and 

"penned long after the absolute nom. had been settled; 

, i; but although I have no old quotations ready to hand, 

similar expressions may and must have occurred at 

any time. 

:. ; 184. (139) Having dealt (in \\ 170183) with the 

substitution of the nominative for an original accusa- 

Digitized by VjOO^LC 


tive or dative before the verb, we shall now proceed 
to the corresponding tendency to use an objective case 
after tlu verb where a nominative would be used in 
the old language. This is, of course, due to the 
preponderance of the instances in which the word 
immediately following the verb is its object^ The 
most important outcome of this tendency is the use of 
nu after it is. I have already had occasion to men- 
tion a few connexions in which the accusative will 
naturally come to be used after it is (see §§ 154 and 
157); to these might be added accusatives with the 
infinitive, as in Greene, Friar Bacon, 10, 57, "/>/ it be 
pte ^ But even where there is no inducement of that 
kind to use ine, this form will occur after it is by the 
same linguistic process that has led in Danish to the 
exclusive use of ^^/ er mig, where some centuries ago 
the regular expression would have been dit erjeg^ and 
which is seen also in the French dest^ used in Old 
French with the oblique form of nouns and then also 
of pronouns, 4! est moi, etc. • 

With regard to the English development from O. E., 
ic hit earn, through the Chaucerian // am I {Cant^ A, 
1 109, M. P., 3, 186, etc.) to // is /• and // is me, 
I shall refer to a letter from A. J. Ellis, printed in 

'When Trollope writes (D¥k$'% C*., ii., 227^ "There might 
be somebody, though I think not A#r," her is viewed as a sort 

'On the French development see, for instance, Lidforss in 
6fvm\ki ai PiMogiska tdUkapits i Lund Pdrkandling$r, i88i-88| 

•Malory, 36, "I am he". 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




-. ; I 


Alford*s TAe Qtuetfs English^ ^, 115, and to Storm, 
. EngL PhtloL, 1881, pp. 209- io» 234 AT.; the latter 
author gives a great many modem examples of the 
^ accusative in familiar speech. Ellis goes so far as to 
say thaf the phrase it is I is a modernism, or rather 
a grammaticism, that is, it was never in popular use, 
but was introduced solely on some grammatical hypo- 
thesis as to having the same case before and after the 
verb tr. . . • The conclusion seems to be that ifs tne 
is good English, and ifs / is a mistaken purism." The 
eminent author of Early English Pronunciation is no 
doubt right in defending ifs ine as the natural form 
^ I ^ against the blames of quasi-grammarians : but I am 

not so sure that he is right when he thinks that it is I 
is due only to the theories of schoolmasters, and that 
** it does not appear to have been consonant with the 
feelings of Teutonic tribes to use the nominative of 
• { the personal pronouns as a predicate "• He seems to 

.4 I have overlooked that it was formerly used so often 

I with the nop), that we cannot ascribe the usage ex- 

. -] clusively to the rules of theorists ; sec, for instance :— 

t I Chaucer, B., 1054, " it was she " | Malory, 38, " it 

^ \ was / myself that cam" | Roister Doisier,2\, 

: ;;' " that shall not be /" | ibid., 58, "it was / 

\ ;! that did offende " | ibid., 26, "this Is not site'* 

, -^ I Marlowe, /«!;, 656, "'tis/- I Shak.,-^<«*n 

877, 1009, 1014 (and at other places), " it was 
; -^ A^-or" tisA^". 

185* (129) The nom. accordingly seems to have 
been the natural idiom, just as det er jeg was in 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Danish a few centuries ago, and as det dr jag is still 
in Sweden ; but now it is otherwise, and itis tue must 
be reckoned good English, just 9A det er mig is good 
Danish. In Shakespeare (besides the passages ac- 
counted for above) we find the accusative used in 
three passages, and it is well worth noting that two 
of them are pronounced by vulgar people, vtr.. Two 
Gent., ii., 3, 2$, "the dogge is me*' (the clown 
Launce), and Lear, i., 4, 204, ** I would not be thee " 
(the fool ; comp. PericL, ii., i, 68, "here's them in our 
country of Greece gets more,** spoken by the fisher- 
man); the third time it is the angry Timon who 
says : " [I am proud] that I am not thee*" (iv., 3, 277). 
The stamp of vulgarity would have disappeared com- 
pletely by now from the expression had it not been 
for gprammar schools and school grammars ; even to 
the most refined speakers ifs me is certainly more 
natural than ifs /.^ And Shelley has consecrated the_ 
construction as serviceable in the highest poetic style 
by writing in his Ode to the West Wind: ** Be thou, 
spirit fierce, my spirit I Be thou vu, impetuous one I ^ 
I^atham, Ellis, Sweet and Alford defend iiis me^A 
the only natural expression ; the reason of their not 
extending this recognition of the objective case 
equally to the other persons will be found below 

' Trollope makes a young lord say ; ** I with it were me ** 
(DtfA#*« Chiidr., iii., 118); comp. ibid., ii., 64, '*It it you. • • . 
*^it* taid Mitt Boncatten, chooting to be ungrammatical 
in order that he might be more abturd.** Many other examples 
in Storm. • 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





n * 

*- 1 


d 194) ; yet in Thackeray's Vanity Fair, p. 163, a 
young lady says If s Air; and in Cambridge Trifles, 
p. 96, an undergraduate says // couldtit be tAem--to 
mention only two examples. 

186. (130) Not only the predicate but also the 
subject itself is liable to be put in the accusative after 
the verb. S/ialTs (» sAaU us) for sAaU we is found 
six times in Shakespeare. As four times it means 
exactly or nearly the same thing as /et us {Cor., iv., 
6, i48,**Shal's to the CapitoU"; IVint., h, 2, 178; Cymb, 
v., 5, 228 ; Peric/., iv., 5, 7), it is probable that this 
idiom is originally due to a blending of let us and 
sAaU we (compare' the corresponding use of a nom. 
after let, § 156). But it has been extended to other 
cases as well: Tim., iv., 3, 4o8,'<Howsharsgetit?'' | 
Cjmb,, iv., 2, 233, •• Where shall's lay him ? " Towards 
the end of the last century shall $4s was common in 
vulgar speech according to Sam. Pe^e,^ who adds : 

* See his AnecdoUs of the Engl. Languag$ (1803 ; re-edited 
X814 and 1844, with additions by the editors ; Pegge himself 
died in x8oo). This is a very remarkable work, excellent alike 
for the power of observation it displays and for the author^ 
explanations of linguistic phenomena, by which he is often 
many jrears ahead of his time, and often reminds one of that 
eminent philologist who was to take up the rational study of 
v)ilgar English about, eighty jrears later : Johan Storm. Of 
course, it is no disparagement to Pegge to remark that many of 
the phenomena he deals with are now explained otherwise than 
was possible to him, before the birth of comparative philology. 
I shall here quote an interesting remark of his : *' Before 1 
undertook this investigation, I was not aware that W4 ell tftek 
m m€9rr$eUy in our daily colloquial language as we do '*• Thi» 




" The Londoner also will say—" Can us/* *• May us/* ; 

and "Have us". Storm quotes (p. 209) from f j 

Dickens some instances of vulgar sAaU us^ can't us, do [\\ 

us^hatbitus : is this phenomenon still living in ttie ] 

mouth of uneducated people ? I do not call to mind ' v 

a single instance from the Cockney literature of the ;;.' 

last ten years or so. . ,; 

187. (131) I find a further trace of the influence . T 

of position in Shakespeare, Macb.^ 2044 (v.» 8» 34), .' > 

"And dam$id be him ^ that first cries hold» enough I " 
Damn'd be is here taken as one whole meaning the ;^ ^. 

same thing as, and therefore governing the same 
case as, damn or God damn. The person that should . | ' 

properly be the subject of the verb is sometimes 
even governed by sl to : — 

Field., T.Jones, i., 297, " Are not you ashamed, 
and be d—rid to you, to fall two of you upon 
one?" I ibid., ii., 118, ^'be d—ned to you'\ 
I ibid., iv., 87, "You my son-in-law, and^ 
bed^^d to your' \ Thack., Van. F., 158, j 

** be hanged to them** ; similarly, i^Mc/., 274, ^ > 

450; Pendennis, iL, 146, 314, 317* | Dar- •]* 

win, Life and Lett., \\l, 76, "I went to ; - 

will no doubt express the sentiment of every serious student of 
any living language ; but does it not suggest a doubt as to the ^^- V 

truth of most current ideas of what constitutes correctness in I 

language ? 

*0f course, Pope and most later editors ** emend*' km V j 

intoik '^j \ 

' PdMtawM, iL, 3ai, ** Field of honour be hanged I ** 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 

• ^ 4 


Lubbock's, partly in hopes of seeing you, 

znd^ be flanged io you ^ yon were not there** 

I Mrs. Ward, D. Grieve,' i, 220, **be rf— rf 

to your Christian brotherhood ! " 

' Here the phrase be damned, or its substitute be 

hanged^ has become an exclamation^ and to you is 

added as if " I say " was understood ; compare also 

Hail to thee (Middle Engl, heil be J>ow) ; farewell 

to you; welcome to you ; good-bye to you} 

An earlier form of the phrase Would to God is 
Would God, where God is the subject : — 

Chaucer, M. P.^ 3, 814, "God wolde I coude 
f clepe her wers " | Malory, 66, " so wold god 

I had another" [hors] | ifeV/., 81, "wolde 
god she had not comen in to thys courte ** 
I Greene, Friar A, 6, 40, " would God the 
lovely carl had that". 
Hut when people lost the habit of placing a subject 
J I after the verb, they came to take would as an equiva- 

lent of / would and God as a dative ; and the analogy 
of the corresponding phrase / wish to God (or, I pray 

*'{ to God) would of course facilitate the change of God 

• I into to God. 

\ 188. (132) The position after the verb has probably 

; had no small share in rendering the use of thee (and 

J you) so frequent after an imperative, especially in the 

■ t' * 

> Hamtit, ii., a, 575, qu. ; this phrase properly contains two 
youn; compare alto Stevenson, Tr, Itl^ 356, "I've got my 
piece o* newt, and ihanl^ to km for that " {thanfy « thank ye, 
thank you). 

•:"'. * 1 

. Digitized 

by Google 


' — . { 

first Modern English period ; the usage is still seen in { 

the poetical phrase * Fan i/ue well**. Here we have, 
however, a concurrent influence in the use of a re- 
flexive pronoun (without the addition of self) which * * 
was extremely common in all the early periods of the 
language, and which did not perceptibly alter the \} 
meaning of the verb to which it was added. ^ This 
reflexive pronoun was sometimesoriginally added in the /] 
accusative case, /^., after restan (see Voges, p. 333), but 
generally in the dative; this distinction, however, had 
obviously no significance for any but the very earliest 
stages of the language. As now it made no difference '' 
whatever whether the speaker said I fear or I fear tne 
(compare, for instance, Marlowe, few, 876, with 1 1 10), • ' 
the imperative would be indifferently fear or fear 
thee (fear jww);^. hut it was equally possible with the 
same meaning to say fear thou (fear ye\ with the 
usual addition of the nominative of the pronoun to - 
ct Examples from Malory of the 
• 73» **go yc" I 74. " telle thow'' | 
t," etc etc. • In other words : after 
}$ninaiwe and an accusative would \ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



• f -. 


iUxiv dativ im Bnf^lUchiHf in Anifiit^ vi., 
ipplement my own collections, I take the 
of his numerous quotations which seem 
te the process of case-shifting, a subject ( 

th only in a cursory manner. 

V.^ 1743, " dreed thee noght '* | Malory, V 


cases are used in the same sentence: 
(Judas, quoted by Voges, 336). 

s i 

i I 

« I 
i I 
* - 1 

, i 


very often be used indiscriminately. Thus, Care ye not 
(Maloty, 72) means exactly the same thing as care 
not yaw {ibid., 135) ; stay tfum (Sh., Cces., v., 5, 
44) - stay tlue (3 H. VL, iii., 2, $8) ; get ye 
\ gon (Marlowe. Jew, 1226) ^ get you gone (common, 

r Sh.) ; stand tlwu forth (Sh., All, v., 3, 35) - stand t/ue 

I by {Ado, iv., i, 24) ; turn ye unto him (Isaiah, xxxvi., 

6 ; Ezek., xxxiii., 1 1) - turn you, at my reproof (Prov., 
; i., 23) ; turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of 

I hope (Zech., ix., 12); turn thee unto me (Ps., xxv., 

j 16) - turn thou unto me {ibid., Ixix., 16*) ; fare ye 

well (SYi., Merch., \., \, $8 and loi) ^ fare you well 
(ibid., \u, 7, 73) ; seldom as in Tim., l, i, 164, Well 
fare you, fare tlwu well {Tetnp., v., 318) - fartluewcU 
( Tw. If., iii., 4, 183) ; far-thee-well {fbid., iii., 4, 236) ; 
far thee well (ibid, iv., 2, 61) ; sit thou by my bedde 
it ' (Sh., 2 H. IV., 5, 182) - sit thee downe vpon this 

flowry bed (Mids. N., iv., 1,1; also with the transitive 
verb set thee down. Lovers L., iv., 3, 4, in some editions 
emended into sit 1). 

189. (132) It will now be easily understood that 
thee (or you) would be frequently added to impera- 
tives where the thought of a reflexive pronoun would 
not be very appropriate ; in hear tlue, liark tlue, look 
ikee and similar cases, Voges finds a reflexive dative, 

> The quotations from the Bible are Uken from Washing- 
ton Moon*a ^ccl4siasticiU English, p. 170; this author blamcK 
the translators for their inconsistency and for their bad gram- 
mar; he does not know that Shakespeare is guilty of the very 
same ** faults,** and he does not suspect the historical reaiion 
of the phenomenon. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


whereas Al. Schmidt quotes them under the heading 

*'//u€ hr tfiou*' \ it is rather difficult to draw a line \ r\ 

here. When Troilus says fact iv., 5, 115): " Hector, 

thou s\e&p' St f awake thee^ no less than three gram- | t 

matical explanations are applicable : atoake may be 

intransitive, and t/ue the subject (Al. Schmidt), ^zc^^Xv 

is intransitive, but thee is a reflexive dative (Voges, 

/. €., p. 372}, and finally, €nvake may be a transitive 

verb having t/iee as its object (comp. Murray's Diet) ; 

but whichever way the grammatical construction is 

explained, the meaning remains the same.^ 

It is evident that all this must have contributed 
very much to impair the feeling of the case-distinc- 
tion, and it should be remarked that we have here a 
cause of confusion that is peculiar to the pronouns of 
ihe second person?^ 

* We may perhaps be allowed to conclude from the follow- 
ing passage that^ou after an imperative was at the time of 
Shakespeare felt as an accusative:. A%^ i., 3, 45, "Mistris, 
dispatch you with your safest haste. And get you from our 
court. JIftfVncle?'* 

' When in Living English a pronoun is added to an impera- 
tive, it is generally placed before it : ** You try I You take that 
chair I •• i "Never you mind!" ( C, Doyle, ShcfL //., i., 63, 
'* And now, Mr. Wilson, off yon go at scratch •* | Jerome, Tkrtt 
Men in a Boat, 30, ** Now, you get a bit of paper and write 
down, J., and you get the grocery catalogue, George, and som^^ 
^xxfy give me a bit of pencil '*. When the auxiliary do is used, 
the pronoun comes before the principal verb: ** Don't you 
«tirl*' I C. Doyle, A <^ 94, ••! shall stand behind the crate, 
and do you conceal yourselves behind those " | ibid^ iL, 71, 
** Don't you dare to meddle with my affairs*'. Compare from 

1 . ; 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



-- f: 

- ■'. 1 

190. (133) In connexion with the reflexive ex- 
pressions mentioned just now I shall remind the 
i reader that we have a still more radical change in 

the case of the reflexive pronoun when joined to self. 
; Him self was originally added to the verb with the 

\ meaning of a dative, '' to, or for, himself" ; but it 

: Ij came to be rq^rded as an emphatic apposition to 

'* il the subject (he has done it himself; he himself has 

done it), and finally it is sometimes used as a subject 
'I by itself {himself has done it). We see the first 

b^nnings of this development in Old English 
phrases like these : — 

Orosl^ 194, 21, ")ia angeat Hannibal, & him self 

saede"* | ibid., 260, 33, ••[Nero] gestod him 

self on I^aem hiehscan torre" | Ancr. i?., 226, 

**3e beoC tures ou sulf * ye yourselves are 

towers ' *' I ibid,, 258, •• he him sulf hit seiS ". 

It would be a waste of paper and ink to give 

examples from more recent times, as they abound 

everywhere ; I shall therefore only state the fact that 

' '^'t in the modem use of himself and themselves (and 


■ [ last century Fielding, T. Jon$$t iv., 131, ••Well then," uid 

; ti Jones, ^doyou leave mc at present* | ibid., 157, ^Doyou be agood 

:• <; girl "* I ibid., 302, •• Harkee, sir, do you find out the letter which 

\ i your mother sent me *'. It will be seen that in this deviation 

' t ;; firom the position rules of former times we have an applicatkNi 

of the rule laid down in § 73 £^ 

> For this ean hardly mean at this place : •• he laid to 
himself** ; the Latin original has : •• Tunc Annibal dixitte 




Digitized byVjOOQlC 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



^ » t -: ; 

herself?) we have a dative used as a nominative (or ^;j_ 

rather as a common case), and that this was formerly > |^' ] 

the case with me self and us self (or us selue^ seluefi) r ^-^ 

as well, which have now been ousted by myself and J 

19L (134) Sometimes we come across isolated t *^ . 

uses of the objective for the nominative case, which V 

are probably to be ascribed to analogical influence ^A\ 
exercised by the x^^-combinations. Abbott quotes 

(§214):— vi- 

Sh.^ fohn, iv., 2, 50, ** Your safety, for the which f | ^ 

my selfe and tlum Bend their best studies "* ; ^1 

and says : ** Perhaps tluvi is attracted by myself," . , j 

which naturally suggests the objective *' myself and 
<they) them (selves)". That this is the correct ex- : ^ 

planation seems to be rendered more likely by the 
parallel passage : — • 

Marl., Tantb.^ 433, " Thy selfe and them shalL 

neuer part from me," '! 

and perhaps it is also applicable to these two sen- 
tences: — ^1 

Sh., Wint., i., 2, 410, " Or both your selfe and me -t^! ' 

• » J. 

\ ' \' 

' It is with tome hesitation that I place this use of him 

{ulf) in the section headed «* Position,'* as it neither is nor ever ]> . . 

was obligatory to place kimsdf after the verb. As this position » 

it, however, the most common, it may have had some influence i ; 

in determining the form kimttlfin preference to he idf^ which V •« 

was used in O.E., and at any rate the arrangement followed in '^l '^ 

this section has the advantage of not sundering the two classes ^* 
of reflexive datives. 

• t 


- M 

Cry lost'' I Cits., u 3, 76, - No mightier thca 
thy sclfc, or me " [N.B.. thaal]. 

192. (136) In his book TAe King's EngUsh, p. viii.^ 
Mr. Washington Moon writes : — 

" As a specimen of real * Queen's English/ take the 
following, which was found written in the second 
Queen Mary's Bible : ' This book was given the king 
and / at our coronation ' ". 

How is this / to be explained? Of course it 
might be referred to the passive constructions treated 
above, § 181, though then we should, have expected 
wen instead of vms and a different word-order (** The 
king and I were given this book," or perhaps, ** This 
book the king and I were given "). But I believe 
that another dxplanation is possible : / was preferred 
to me after and^ because the group of viotdsyou and A 
he and /, etc., in which this particular word-order was 
required by common politeness, would occur in every- 
day speech so frequently as to make it practically a 
sort of stock phrase taken as a whole, the last word 
of which was therefore not inflected. At all evenbt;. 
it cannot fail to strike one in reading Storm's in- 
stances of nominative instead of objective case {Engl^ 
Philol.^ p. 210 f.) that the great majority of sentences 
in which / stands for me present these combination;)- 
(seventeen from Shakespeare,^ Ben Jonson, Bunyan^ 
Dickens, etc., against two, which arc moreover hardly 
genuine). Abbott says : " ' Tween you and I seems to 

* Some of th^ae, it is true, may be explained on the principle 
mentioned in ( 156. 

Digitized byCjOOQlC 


* c 


iiave beeii a regular Elizabethan idiom '*. It is found 
for instance in Macbetli^ lii., 2, 21, and is not yet 
extinct. I subjoin a few examples to supplement 
those given by Storm : — 

( Tom Brawn^ 3> see § 1 56) | Goldsmith, Mist, of a 
Nig/U, i., ** Won't you give pafa and I a 
little of your company ?** | S. Pegge, Anecd.^ 
307, •• To you and /, Sir, who have seen half , ] ; 

a hundred years, it is refunding ^ 
It will be seen that, if my explanation is the correct 
one, we have here an influence of word-position of 
quite a different order from that pointed out in the 
rest of this section. Dr. Sweet, * while accepting this ^ 
explanation as far as the Elizabethan idiom is con- 
cerned, thinks that when bttweenyou and I ox he saw 
John and I is said now-a-days, it is due to the 
grammatical reaction against the vulgar use of f9U for 

VI. Phonetio Influenoes. 

193. (137) I now come to ~ the last but by no 
means the least important of the agencies that have 
brought about changes in the original relations be- 
tween the cases of the pronouns. I mean the in- 
fluence of sound upon sense. 

If you glance at the list of pronominal forms T^* 

printed in § 152 you will see that seven of them 
rhyme together, the nominatives wt^yi^ hi^ she^ and i' 

the accusatives me, i/ui. After the old case-rules \.\ 

had been shaken in diflferent ways, instinctive feeling . j; ' j 

^ See N$w BngL Grammar^ p. 340 f. ^v' 



Digitized byVjOOQlC 




seized upon this similarity, and likeness in form has 
partly led to likeness in function. 

As evidence of this tendency I shall first mention 
Malory's use of the impersonal verbs that in his times 
were ceasing to have an impersonal and adopting 
a personal construction (§ 173 fT.). Malory has a 
manifest predilection for the ^^forms with these verbs 
without any r^ard to their original case-values. I 
note all the instances found in some hundred pages :— 
Malory, 1 1 5, "now mi lac^eth an-hors" | 127, **jw 
shalle lacke none" I | 7i,90,i48,**i«/lyst(e)" 
I 61, 1 14, 146, **j^e lyst " I I 76, "^/ ncde not 
to pulle half so hard " | 115, **^€ shalle not 
nede " | | 1 53, " ^ shalle repente , sorc 
'l repenteth " | 59, 82. 83. 84, 96, 106, 107, 1 17, 

i i33,"#/«^repenteth'* | 78, 80, *>^ shalle repcntc 

I hit" I ii7,**^^ou3tsoretorepenteit" | 79,82. 

I li8,"w^forthynketh"(»"Irepent")| | 121. 

"it were' m/ leuer" | 46, "^^ were better for 
to stynte" | 62, *>/ were better to gyue" | Sj, 
i "whether is m€ better to treate" | 69, "that is 

;[ mi loth " I 90, " that were mc loth to doo " | 

I 100, " A^ wylle be lothe to returne "I 105, "fw? 

wolde be loth to haue adoo with yow ** | 1 1 Si 
1 "Ar is ful loth to do wronge". 

I The following are the only exceptions : — 

' 1 3 1 f ** though / lacke wepen, / shalle lacke no wor- 

ship" I ioi|"4^^nedethnone" | 82, "els wold 
f /haue ben lothe" | 112, 131, "/am loth V 

^Tl^tUU and lyk$ are always impersonal in Malory; ci 
■\ abovot § 176. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


A century later the same holds good with the verb 
bisf in Roister Doister: ye (pp. 12 and 5 1), fne (12), fu 
(42). she (87) ; there are two exceptions : hjnn (43), 


The phonetic similarity is used to mark the con- 
trast in Sh., Macb., iii., 4, 14 (1035), •* Tis better thee "'\ 
without then he within " ; see W. A. Wright's note : j 
''It [Banquo's blood] is better outside thee than ^j! 
inside him. In spite of the defective grammar, this 
must be the meaning/ j 

194. (138) We now see the reason why fne is very 
often used as a nominative even by educated speakers, ,■ 

who in the same positions would never think of 
using him or her. Thus after it is, see above* § 1851 
and compare the following utterances : — 

Latham (see Alford, p. 115): ''the present 
writer . . . finds nothing worse in it [it is 
me] than a Frenchman finds in i^est mou 
... At the same time it must be observed 
that the expression it is me « it is I, will 
not justify the use of it is him, it is her - ;- ' 

it is lu, and it is she. Me, ye, you are what i 

may be called indifferent forms, i.e., nomi-. > ;, 

native as much as accusative, and accusative 
as much as nominative.*" '-j ; 

Ellis (ibid.) : " ifs tne is good English ". r. 

Alford: '" It is me' ... is an expression \\ 

which every one uses. Grammarians (of fi^\ 

the smaller order) protest: schoolmasters [^| 

(of the lower kind) prohibit and chastise ; 

\ h! 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

^ •• / 


but English men, women and children go 
on saying it" 
Sweet ( IVvrds, Ij>g. and Gr., 26) : " it is only the 
influence of ignorant grammarians that pre- 
vents such phrases as * it is me ' from being 
adopted into the written language, and 
acknowledged in the grammars. . . . The 
real difference between *!' and 'me' is 
that • r is an inseparable prefix used to 
form finite verbs [also a "-suflix': am 1, 
etc.], while * me * is an independent or 
absolute pronoun, which can be used with- 
out a verb to follow. These distinctions arc 
carried out in vulgar English as strictly as 
in French, where the distinction between 
the conjoint *je* and the absolute 'moi* is 
rigidly enforced/* 
Sweet {Primer of Spoken EngL, 36): ** The nom. 
/ is only used in immediate agreement with 
a verb ; when used absolutely, tne is sub- 
stituted for it by the formal analogy of he, 
we, she, which are used absolutely as well as 
dependently : its he, its vu; wlw's there? 
196. I shall give here a few quotations to show 

the parallelism of nu and he as unconnected subjects 

(see § 164) :— 

Thack., Pend., ii., 325, «' Why the devil arc you 

to be rolling in riches, and me to have 

' none ? Why should you have a house and 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


a table covered with plate, and //m be in a ' ^ [ 

garret?" | Black, Princess of ThuU, ii., 89, / 

••What do you think of a man who wouW J. 

give up his best gun to you, even though 
you couldn't shoot a bit, and lu particularly • 
proud of his shooting?" | ibid., ii.. 141, " I 
K\xi not going to be talked out of my common- 
sense, and nu on my death-bed I" * ^^ 1 
The common answer which was formerly always 
Not II (thus in Shakespeare, see Al. Schmidt, Sh. Lex,. 
p. 565 a, bottom of the page) is now often heard as 
Not mi I while the corresponding form in the tfiird 
person does not seem to be Not him ! even in vulgar 
speech, but always Not he I At least, I find in the 
Cockney Stories, Tlunks awfully, London, 1890, p. 82, 
"Not 'el"' 

e Thack^ PiHd,y i., 295, " * A/« again at Oxbridge,* 
it, * after such a humiliation as thatt*'* Flugel. 
is Dictionary, Steme*s Sent Joum.^ 314 : •• my pen 
not fne my pen *\ 

d the natural use of ific*, stamped as incorrect in : ' 

and the unnatural use of / standing alone, English j 

a superfluous verb more frequently than other j . 

Lich sentences as : ^ he is older than / am **. Mr. O. 
nith writes to me : ** I do not feel convinced that ; 

there is a difference between the vulgar (or natural) English, !. 

* It's merit's him ' ; * not me— and not him *. I think the .V 

chief reason of him being less common it that while hm is t 

distinctive, in the third person it it generally necessary to 
mention the name. It seems to me very familiar English, r. 

*Is he goin* ? Not kim.^ Of course such usages may differ \; \ 

in different parts of the country.** >\ 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 

: 11 

1 'i 
,. ^ 

1', ! 

■| : 




;,■ . 

' ' *i 



■ ^ 





196« (139) J/> thus to a certain extent has become 
a common case under the influence of Ae, etc., and we 
find some traces of a development in the same direc- 
^ tion beginning in the case of the other pronouns in i, 
only that it is here the nominative that has been 
generalised : — 

Sh.9 Wives, iii., 2, 26^ '' There is such a league be- 
tweene mygoodman and Ae** \ Wint. 7*., ii., 
3, 6, " But s/ue I can hooke to me " (compare 
§ 162 f.) I OlA./iy., 2, 3, "You haue scene 
Cassio and sAe together" | {Lovers L., iv., 2, 
30, " Those parts that doe fructifie in vs more 
then //^"-in him) | Fielding, T./ones/u^ 200 
(Squire Western), " It will do'n [do himj no 
harm with A?" | idid., iL, 50 {idem), •* Be- 
tween your nephew and sAe** \ Cowpctt/oAu 
, Gi//iH, •^On horseback after we" \ (} Art. 

, [; IVani, Ais Book, 95, " Tve promist sAe whose 

I i name shall be nameless . . ."). 

j ;i P. Greenwood, Grammatica Anglicana} mentions 

among errors committed by plerosque baud mediocri 
! jj eniditione praeditos : *' He spake it to sfue whose 

'4 fountaines is dried up/* and he adds : ^ Non minim si 

^ vulgus barbar^ omnino loquatur, cum qui docti, et 

] sunt et babentur, tam inscite, et impure scribunt ". 

ti 197. (140) Phonetic influences may have been at 

< This it the oldest Engliah grammar (printed at Cambridge, 
1594); 00 the title-page are the initiala P. G.; I give the 
avthor'a name from a written note in the unique copy bekNiging 
to the Bfhiah Ifvaemn. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


work in various other ways. If the vowel of the 
nominative J^u was weakened when the word was 
unstressed the result would be /^ [89], exactly like a 
weakened form of the accusative ^. This is, I take 
it, the explanation of the nominative />e found so 
often in the Ayenbite of Inwii (A.D. 1340) in such 
combinations as Jh wyli, Jh tmiyt, Jh ssoUUsL As u 
is undoubtedly weakened into / in Huannes comsie^ 
" whence comest thou " (Ayenb.^ 268), as te stands 
certainly for /w in Robert of Gloucester, 10792 seisU^ 
3150 waste, 4917 }ifsf us^^ and as similarly to is 
weakened into ie in the Ayenbite as well as in (parts at 
least oQ the Ancren RiwU^ this phonetic explanation 
seems to me» as it did to Matzner,' more probable than 
the two other explanations given by Gummere ' and 

As, however, this use of ^ for Im is only found in 
a few texts (also in Sir Beues of Hamtoun, see Engl. 
Studien^ xix., 264), we cannot ascribe to it any great .-^ 

influence on the later development 

198« (170) Similarly a .^^vir pronounced with weak V 

■ P. Pabstf AngUa^ xiii., a^a 

• Sfrtiek^rob$H, ii., 76. 

*Am$riam Journal 0/ Phiiol., iv., 286; according to him p$ 
it here a dative that has become a nominative, at tome 
centariet later jwm became a nominative. 

* A^ it a reflexive dative with the tubject underttood ; thit it 
aho the view of Voget (/. c, 336 ffl), who it then not able to 
offer any acceptable explanation of the reflexive dative being 
uted in thit text with quite other dattet of verba than 

:X' .■ 

Bigitized byVjOOQlC 


» ^ 


:,t sentence-Stress will' be reduced to^/ or even to the 

. ?; short vowel i, written^. This is especially the case 

«j in stock phrases like tliank you (tltanky)^ God be with 

s': ^ yon {Good-bye} the ^-vowel is probably introduced 

^l from the other forms of salutation : good-morrow, 

>;| good'HtglU^ etc, the naming of God being thus 

'J avoided ; in Shakespeare it is also written God buy 

V j /^«)» God give you good even (in Shakespeare Godgigo- 

!: I den, Godigoden^ God dig you den). Harky (/tark'ce) 

] j and looKee may contain ^^, weakened for you (§ i88), 

\[-J or the nominative^/. I am inclined to think that 

,i I '^ this phonetic weakening of you is the cause of the 

I I unstressed ye after verbs, which is found so very 

i« t frequently from the beginning of the sixteenth 

., century, although it is impossible in each single 

instance to distinguish the ye which originates in tin's 

j ! way from^/s called forth by the other circumstances 

; . dealt with in this chapter. 

; * 199. (171) Further, we have here to Ukc into 

account the elision of a final unstressed vowel before 

: ^! a word beginning with a vowel, which was formerly 

extremely common in English. As early as the 

•^ thirteenth century we find in Orrm Jkirrke for A* 

arrke^ tunnderrgan for to unnderrgan ; * in Chaucer 

the phenomenon -is very frequent indeed : siU{^ on 

j kQrs^ i(p) entendi^ m{e) endyte, eta ; * in more recent 

j > Comp. Skeat, Principles of EngU Etymotogyt i., 433. 

*See Kliige in PauPt Qrundri$$^ i., 885. Comp. alto Old 
> a| Bnglith contractions : h{$)mfUm^ b{4)u/M, 6(#)Mlaii, n($k)MaM, 

fitc^ Sievert, Agi. Gr^ § no n. 

* See Ten Brink, Cktmun Sprach$^ § 369. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





periods too you will often find t/io/d written for fA^ 

Mt and so on* In the Elizabethan period there is 

plenty of evidence to show that elisions of this kind 

were of everyday occurrence. The phonetician Hart 

mentions them expressly, and in his OrihograpMe 

(1569) he constantly writes, ^., So*n (the one), SuSer 

(the other), dT -ius (the use), /' am vtan (to any man), \ 

/* iuz (to use), ^ understand (do understand), tu V 

aspvrd (to be aspired ; the dot as a mark of a long 

vowel is in Hart under the 1), liouV it (how be it), tP 

ins (they use), etc. And everybody who is at all 

familiar with Shakespeare or his contemporaries will 

know that this elision was in those times of very 

frequent occurrence, and was very often indicated in 

the old editions where the modern editors do not 

choose to mark it. The words don for do on, doffiot 

up, show the same tendency, and do 

I in the formula much good do it 

le pronunciations *^ muskiditti** and 

re expressly mentioned.^ Similarly 

ing word begins with an Xt : he has 

Ltcn in the old editions has, Kas or 

aince, Tw. N,, v., 178, 201, 293 ; Cor., 

; so also he had became Khad (so 

' EhgU PronuHciaiioH, i., 165 ; and iii., 744. 
t Shak., Tim., i., a, 73, ** Much good dich 
' the frequent use of this d{o)il before ys 
there naturally palatalised and assibilated, 
ras taken as an unanalysed whole, the ck 
sd before thu as well ; see Tratuact. PkUoL 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



Mwrlowc, Jew, 25) ; /Aey have became tK luxue (Cor,, 
i** 2» 30). Now this elision seems to have disappeared 
from all forms of the language except (the artificially 
archaic language of the poets and) vulgar speech. 
In the Cockney Stories, Thinks awf*lfy^ I find among 
others the following instances :— 

ihi: th'air, th'ether (other), th'id (head), etc. | 

to : t'enleam, t'enimels | pty : m'arm | so : 

slielp me | you (ye) : ee y'are (here you 

are), w'ere y'are (where *. . .), y'observe, 

the mowst crool menner y'iwer see. 

200. (142) It will be noticed that these phonetic 

tendencies cannot possibly have had any influence 

on the case-relations of most pronouns; weaken 

the vowel of mi as you like or drop it altogether, 

the remaining w' is not brought one bit the nearer 

to the nom. /. But in the pronouns of the second 

person there is this peculiarity, that the cases are 

distinguished by the vowel only; if the vowel is 

left out it becomes impossible to tell whether the 

nominative or the accusative is meant — one more 

reason for the old distinction to become forgotten. 

In Chaucer ihee is elided, see Cant. 7*., i?., 1660, in 
thalighie. In Greene's Friar Bacon, 12, 78, •'For 
ere thou hast fitted all things for her state,** we must 
certainly read tKhast (see also the same play, I3> n\ 
In countless passages, where modem editions of 
Shakespeare read you're the old folio has/oiv, which 
must no doubt be interpreted ye an. But when we 
find Mart (for instance. Cor., iv., 5, 17 and 100^ m'od. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 



edd. thouWf)^ is this to be explained as thou art {thu 

art) or as thee art? Similarly tKhast (mod, edd. 

thou'st\ tKhadst (mod. edd. tliou hadst)\ in Macb., 

iv., I, 62 (13 1 2), "Say if th*hadst rather heare it from 

our mouthes/' it is specially difficult to decide in 

favour of one or the other form on account of the i\{ 

peculiar constructions of had rat/ter (see above, § ^; 

180). f1 

20L (143) There is one more thing to be n{:tticed. 
Where the pronouns are combined with the verbal '1 

forms commencing with w^ those forms are preferred j ^ 

that contain rounded vowels. The past subjunctive ^.. 

o{ yare is in Shakespeare you're (Cymb.^ iii., 2, j6^ 
*• Madam, you're best consider ") ; the second person, i 

corresponding to Fie for / will^ is notye'le^ hMt y0u*ie , 

(Marlowe, /«cf, 708), or more frequently ^^«W. Now . . ) 

I take it to be highly probable that these forms were 
heard in the spoken language at a much earlier period } 

than they are recorded in literature, that is, at a time 
when j'^ii was not yet used as a nom., and that they 
arc contracted not from you were ^ you will^ but from 
ye were^ ye will (? ye wol)^ the vowel u being thus a 
representative of the w of the verb.* If this is so, 

'According to Al. Schmidt's Lexicon^ ye'U is found only h 

once, in the first quarto of Lov^t L., i., a, 54, where, however, f ^ ^ : 

the second quarto and the folios haveyi^tf'tf. | ; 

'Pro! Herm. Mdller, in his review of my Danish edition, i^'< '; 

accepts this theory, and explains the phonetic connexion some- ^^ T . 

what more explicitly than I had done. I beg leave to translate [= .f 
his words: *' The vowel / ot y$ combined with the following 



we have here yet another reason for the confusion of 
^e and jwu, as the contracted (otms you* U znd you're 
would be felt instinctively as compounds of you and 
will or Wire. For thou wert we find thotirt; ^ for 
tltou wilt similarly thotilt {e^.^ Mwrl.,Jew, 1 144 ; often 
in Shakespeare, who also, though rarely, writes lAou*t). 

202. (144) We have not yet finished our considera- 
tion of those phonetic pecuh'arities which favour the 
case-shifUng of the pronouns of the second person. 
The pronouns in question were pronounced by Chau- 
cer and his contemporaries as follows : — 
nofn. t5u' je* 

ace. der ju* 

Side by side with the long vowel forms we must 
suppose the existence of shortened forms whenever 
the pronouns were unstressed or half-stressed; we 
should accordingly write 8u(') and ju(*) with wavering 
vowel quantity. A r^ular phonetic development of 

consonantal m or tr to form the diphthong iu. This group of 
sounds (which might in those times be written itf , fv, tu^ iw^ »« 
etc) was at a later period changed into ju (juw)f the accent 
being here, as in the Norse diphthong, shifted from the first on 
to the second element, which was lengthened ; the consonant 
y -^ iUt too, could give no other result than ju (juw)t written 
in the case before usyow.'* 

'The Shakespearian difference between ikou*ri and M'«i^ 
(as well as that between ^*ar» Mdyoit'n) is toUUy obscured in 
modem editions, which give tkou'r^you'n indiscriminately. It 
is true that tkou^H -> thou Mi is found in the original editions 
of some of Shakespeare's plays. Tkou*H stands perhaps for tki^ 
wmi in Temp^ L, a, 367, ** and be quicke thou*rt best **. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


i ' 


these pronunciations would have given the following 
modern forms (compare mod. caw [kau] , in Chaucerian 
English pronounced [ku*], etc) : — 

nom. ffsLu^ fdii ji* Qi) 

ace. 5i* (6i) tjau, ju (; 

Now it will be noticed that the forms nurked with ^' 

a cross are no longer heard, but their former existence Z 

is directly evidenced by the works of the old phoned- j. 

cians. BuUokar (JBooke at large for tlu Amendment of 
Ori/tograp/tie, 1580, and yEsopus^ 1585) always, even 
when the word is emphatiCi writes t/m with a diacriti- 
cal stroke under the u, meaning the short [u] sound ; ' 
the same sign is used xnfiUl^ suffer^ thumbs luck^ but^ 
us.put, etc., all of which were then pronounced with the 
vowel which has been preserved in the present-day 
pronunciation of full, ^ The spelling thu is by no 
means rare in the sixteenth century; it is used con- 
sistently, for instance, by Bale. On the other hand, 
the following passage in Gil's Logonomia (1621, p. 41) 
shows that a pronunciation of you rhyming with haw 
and now was found in his times ; it should be noticed L ; 
that Gil writes phonetically, that ou is found in his Tv 
book in such words as hou^ out^ etc, and that U de- ' / 
notes long [u] (as in Germ. <&, or perhaps as in Mod. \ : 
Engl, do ; Ellis transcribes it uu) :— I j 
** Observa, primo jwu] sic scribi solere, et ab all- ' ; 
quibus pronunciari ; at a plerisque^ ; tamen >; :; 

Ut It accordingly not correct when EUit, itL, 903, gives ,; 1 

BuUokar at an authority for the pronunciation [dhuu] with i« - 

longM. J- 


V.< quia hoc nondum vbique obtinuit, paulisper 

* ; in medio relinqueturV 

** ii It is in accord with this that in Roister Doister 

* I' (printed 1566)^^ rhymes with /Aw (pp. 31 and 32), 

with now (pp. 15, 43, 48, 53, 60, 63 and 70), and with 

imnae(p. 18). 

Now the [au] form o( /oh is extinct; the current 

pronunciation |ju'] or [juw] must be due to a natural 

lengthening of the originally unstressed form [ju], 

;i when it was used with stress. * The existence of 

the form [ju.] at the time of Shakespeare may be 

' concluded from the pun in Lovi^s Laiour^v.^ i, 60. 

;; ; 208. (145) In t/sou, on the other hand, it is the 

fuller form with [au] that is now heard solely : thii^ 

> On p. 44« in the scheme of pronominal forms, Oil writes 
yaUf bat elsewhere in hit phonetic transcriptions he regularly 
writes yA. 

* Herm. Mdller (/. c, p. 508) explains the modern pronuncia- 

t tion [ju% juw] differently ; it is according to him the regular 

West-Saxon continuation of O. E. #ofr, in First Middle Engl. 

j iw^ in, which became first iu and at last /n» just as O. E. ttr, 

«w, Middle Engl. Iir, tu becomes mod.^#w; the lengthening 

^^ of u in the group iu cannot have taken place till after the long 

u in kus^ CHt etc., had been diphthongised into am [au]. Mod. 
Engl, you therefore is a combination of the spoken form 
belonging to the South-west, and the written form belonging 
to the North and East and denoting properly'the pronunciation 
Dau]. Prof. Mdller's explanation and mine do not exclude 
one another: each accounts for the rise of the prevailing 

*^ pronnnciation in one province, and the concurrence of the 

two identical though independently developed forms would 
contribute largely to the rejection of the pronunciation \}w\ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



is quite natural because the word is now never found ^ 

in colloquial language, so that only the emphatic ^: 

pronunciation of solemn or ceremonial speech has {[ 

survived. But when the two pronouns i/um and j^oa : 

were used pari passu in ordinary conversation, their f_ i 

sounds were alike; jnm and tAau formed correct '|- 

rhymes, exactly as ika and j^e did.' But to the / 

formal likeness corresponded a functional unlikeness : i 

you is not the same case as thau^ but as thee^ and^ ^ 

has the same case-function as thou. Are not these 
cross-associations between sound and sense likely to 
have exerted some influence on the mutual relations 
of the forms? ^' 

204. (146) This supposition becomes the more 
probable when it is remembered that the pronouns of 
the second person are different from the other pro- 
nouns in that the singular and plural are synonymous. 
/ and we cannot be used in the same signification, 
except in the case of the ** royal *' and *' editorial " we ; 
but the plural ye, /au begins very early to be used as I ', 

a courteous form of addressing a single person. The t^r 

use of these two manners of address in the Middle !>. 

English and Early Modem English periods has been f^ 

treated so exhaustively by Skeat, Abbott, AL 
Schmidt, and other scholars, that I need only sum up 
the chief results of their investigations : The use of 

] • 

■» .< 

*The feeling of you and thou as parallel forms is manifest in 

the rhymed dialogue in RoisUr DoisUr, p. 31 : *' I would take irf' 

ft gay riche husbande, and I were>o».— In good tooth, Madge, ; f 

e'en to would I, if I were <Aoi#." { . 






!/>; the singular and the plural pronouns from Chaucer's 

;| times till Shakespeare's, and even till about the 

^ J middle of the last century (T/ie Spectator^ Fielding), 

,4 corresponded pretty nearly to that of the French tu 

and vaus ; but it was looser, as very frequently one 

person addressed the same other person now with 

tAou and now with fe^ according as the mood or the 

tone of the conversation changed ever so little. This 

will be seen in many passages quoted by the scholars 

just named ; compare also : — 

Malofy, 94, '* Fair lady, why haue^/ broken my 

promyse, for i/tow promysest me to mete 

me here by none, and I maye curse fAe that 

cuer fe gaf me this swerd ** \ Sh., i //. IV., 

"•> 3» 9ft "Do ^ not loue me? Doj^e not 

indeed ? Well, do not then. For since foa 

loue me not I will not loue my selfe. Do 

^au not loue me? Nay, tell me, if fAou 

speak'st in iest or no.** 

When matters stand thus, and when the feeling for 

case-distinctions is shaken jn a multiplicity of ways, 

must not countless confusions and blendings take 

place in ordinary careless conversation ? The speaker 

begins to pronounce a >r, but, half-way through, he 

falls into the more familiar manner of address, and 

thus he brings about die compromise you, which is 

accordingly in many instances to be considered a 

9ort of cross between j^SLndtAou; ^OM — Xc) + (th)w. 

Such blendings of two synonyms, where the resulting 

word consists of the beginning of one and the end of 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





the Other word, are by no means rare in language ; 

Shakespeare has r^dusc » riedu{kt) -^ (B)duse (Shreu% |'( 

!•» 2, 7), and Tennyson : be dan^d - ^(mned) + 

i)^)ang€d ( Works, p. 6i8) ; but the nearest parallel to 

our case» that I know of, is the Scottish pronoun thtm 

« />&(at) 4- (y)on (see Murray, Dial. South. Counties, \ 

p. 1 86), where in two sy nonynious pronouns the ytry 

same two sounds are interchanged as in the case 

before us.^ In you there are, as we have seen, many 

more inducements at work,* which all of them concur 

in causing the cross to be rapidly recognised and 

accepted by everybody. 

20*5. (147) If I am not mistaken, then, tftau had 
some share in the rise of thtyou nominative: and I 
find a corroboration of this theory in tlie fact that, as 
far as I know, the earliest known instances of you as 
a nominative (fifteenth century) are found in address- 
ing single individuals. This is the case of the four 
certain instances pointed out by Zupitza in the 
Rotnanu of Guy of Warwick,^ where you is not yet 

' An evident blending it seen in Roister DoisUr, 76, ^ What 

sayttyou?*^ In the same play I find an interesting piece of ^j 

evidence of the extent to which the feeling for the cases was i %' 

already weakened ; the tame sentence in a letter is once read I ' 

aloud with ys (p. 51), and another time with you (p. 57): ** to < 
take you as y# (you) are ". 

' To those mentioned in the text might be added the in- ^l < 

fluence of the possessive your, the vowel of which form would { '» 

naturally favour you and not ye. i " } 

'Namely, 11. 4192, 7053, 7ai7-8 (where thou it used in the t ' 

lines immediately preceding), and 9847. Prof. ZupiUa*s fifth • ^ 





found as a nom. plural. Some of the old grammar- 
ians expressly make, this distinction i— 

Wallis (1653, p. 87): ''Notandum item apud nos 
;.j, morem obtinuisse (sicut apud Gallosaliosque 

^ nunc dierum) dum quis alium alloquitur, 

1% singularem lic^t, numerum tamen pluralem 

*5* adhibendi ; verum tunc^^if dicitur, non^r^". 

■4 Cooper (1685, p. 122): "Pro ^Aou, thee, et yt 

\\ dicimus you in communi sermone, nisi em- 

phatic^, fastidios^, vel bland^ dicimus thou ". 

:i So,p. 139:— 

i* , Sum es est . . . estis . . . 

\ thou art he is ye are 

V 206. (148) But that distinction could not remain 

j stable; even before the utterances just quoted were 

]: written, ^^ir had in the spoken language found its 

■"•i way to the nominative plural ; Latimer (1549) "scs 

't- «¥H/ «n addressing those whom he has just called/^ 

•j r . Sf, and Shakespeare and Marlowe use you and ye 

ii^iscriminately without any distinction of case or 

r- flumber. If any difference is made it is that of using 

}\\ you in emphasis, and^r as an unstressed form (comp. 

^ above, § 197). 

^ - example seemt to me to be doubtful : ** Y prey yow here A [MS. 

)c| And] gode councill \9Xy0w Icrc" (1. 6352); it appears more 

' / 1 natural to Uke Un » doceat and yow at the object. The four 

certain instances are interesting, in so far as you is in all of 
them found after the verb, of. above, § la^ ff., in the last of 
them after hyi wer$ and after a bui^ which mav have had some 
influence, cf. § 158. / 


Digitized by^VjOOQlC 


Marl., Tamd., 3988, '' slaves" | 6S7, ''you 
will not sell it, wilier?*' 
See also Abbott, who gives some instances of the 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





■ \ ' i 

use of you and ye being sometimes the directly t 

opposite of the original case one, e^., 
. Cos., iii., I, 157, '* I do beseech ^^^, ifyou beare * 

me hard *\ 
In some of the last plays Shakespeare wroitf you is 
practically the only form used,^ and not long after his 
death ye must be considered completely extinct in 
spoken Standard English.* But ye is not entirely 
forgotten ; the Bible and the old literature keep up 
the memory of it, and cause it to be felt as a form 
belonging to a more solemn and poetic sphere than 
the prosaic you. The consequence is that many 
poets make constant use of ^^ in preference to you. 
While in ordinary language the paradigm is : — 

nom. sg. you 

ace sg. you 

nom. pi. you 

ace. pi. you^ 

> As there it a marked difference in the frequency ofye and 
you in Shakespeare's plays (and perhaps also in the use of the 
contracted forms th'art, thou'H, etc-X I once thought it possible 
to supplement the already existing teste, metrical and others, 
by which the chronology of his writings is determined, with a 
yotf-test ; but want of time prevented me from undertoking 
the necessary sUtistical investigations- which might, after 
all, have led to no results of any value. ^ * 

' If Thackeray*s representetion of the dialect spoken by the ^ ' ( 

Iri8histobetrusted,y^seemstobelongtotheireverydaylanguage. ii 

f, i. 
\ ^ 




in Byron'5 Cain (to take a poetical work at random) 
V| eveiything is so entirely different that, to look only 

' J at this pronoun^ one would scarcely believe it to be 

* !;', the same language : — 

r nom. sg. i/uw 

ace sg. f/iee 
'^ nom. pi. j^€ 

;! ace. ,pl. ye. 

You is practically non-existent in that work ; I 

? find it only on p. 252 {IVorks, ed. Tauchnitz, vol iv.\ 

:] ** PiXiAyou^ye new And scarce-bom mortals," and p. 

|i 224, where it is used in the indefinite signification of 

\ ' the French on. 

The old ye has yet another refuge, namely, in 

grammars, where it renders the separate plural forms 

of other languages, Latin vos^ German Ihr^ etc. If 

i this small domain is excepted, the English seem 

never to feel any inconvenience from their language 

having the same form for the singular and the plural 

in this pronoun ; if a separate form is now and then 

\ required for distinction's sake the want is easily 

^\ remedied— after the Chinese fashion, see § 66 — by the 

^ addition of some noun : you people, you gentlemen^ you 

girts^ you ckaps^ you fellows^ etc. 
1^ 207« (149) To return to the original singular of 

\ the second person. As an early instance of vadlla- 

tion between thou and tkee I shall mention : — 
'] Chauc, i4. A C. ( - M. P., i), 107, - O tresorerc 

' of bounte to mankynde, The whom God chcs 

to moder for humblesse ! " 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


where the iki is probably caused b)' relative attraction ; : : 

but one MS. has j^ee, and another J^ou} The double 
reading tAau (Ellesm. MS.) and //ne in : — | ! 

Chauc, ff.f 40, " Fy, stinking swyn, fy t foule mot ^ ] 

tAeefMtr I?. 

is, I take it, owing to a vacillation between the 1} 

personal and impersonal constructions. 

In the Elizabethan literature tAee is not rare as a * | 

nominative, though it is on the other hand far less i ^ 

Trequent than j^ou ; we have already seen the explana- Tj 

tion of some instances of tAet^ among others 2ff.V/., "* r 

if 2f ^f '* Here's none but thee and I,** where ii€i is [^ 

placed side by side with /; HamL^ v., 2, 63, " Thinkst 
thee** ; and several instances of thee after it is. But \ | 

these explanations do not hold good in the following 
quotations : — 

Marlowe, /ru;, 1056, "What hast ihee done?** 

I Sh., I H. IV., i., 2, 127, *• How i^rrees the ? 

diuell and ihee about thy soule, that thou" ^\y 

soldest him?** I Drydcn, Poents, ii., 220, V: 

''Scotland and Thee did each in other live" > 

' In some pastaget of the old authors ika and yu may have i ; ' 

been confounded on account of the yXtXXttt which has often. :% 

been miitaken for ay, especially in the article {Roister DoisUr, 
23, ** What is yt matter 7 '*). This is perhaps the explanation of 
Chaucer, £., 508, *' Ne I (ne) desyre no thing for to haue, Ne 
drede for to lese, saue onlyy#," where two MSS. have ''/Am 
vel y«#,*' two ye and three thee. As Orisildis generally addresses 
her husband as ye^ not tkou^ ye is probably the correct reading, . , . 

and then the sentence comes under the category dealt with in r I . 



Digitized byVjOOQlC 




I Lewis Morris, Paef. Works, 74, " What I 
ji worship is not wholly fAeeJ'. 

I;' 208. (149) Here we have really a tAee nominative, 

i-1 and this nominative is also often found where the 

use of the old singular pronoun is in living use, 
1^ irrespective of literary or ecclesiastical tradition. 

;' Thus iAee has ousted tiou in most of those dialects 

where you has not become the only form used ; see, for 
;[ instance, Elworthy, Grammar of West Somerset, p. 35 ; 

Lowsley, Berkshire Words ami P/irases, p. 6 ; Mrs. 
) Parker, Glossary 0/ Words used in Oxfordshire {E. Dial. 

\ Soc, c. 5 ^). We must here also mention the Quakers 

(or Society of Friends) ; in the last century their 
usage does not seem to have been fully settled : witness 
the following quotations, where Quakers are intro- 
duced as speaking : — 

Sfeciator^ 132 (Aug. i, 171 1), •• T/ue and I are 

to part by-and-by. . . . When two such as 

tkee and I meet . . . thou should*st re- 

l joice *" (in what follows he also sometimes 

; says thou) \ Fielding, Totn Jones, \u, 127, 

^ ** Perhaps, thou hast lost a friend. If so, 

* Here we read about a pronunciation '* with a very obscure 
• 1 vowel sound"; is this a continuation of the form tku with 

)\ short [u], mentioned above, § aoi 7 In Mid-Yorkshire tk<m 

V seems still ta be used, even as an accusative, according to Mr. 

Robinson, whose words are not, however, completely clear; 
, . see £• Dud. Soe., v., p. xxiii. In the dialect of Windhill 

\ in the West Riding of Yorkshire, as described by Dr. J. Wright 

i (£• DM. Spc, 1893, p. 116), the old case-distinction ii 

preserved, except when the pronouns are used absolutely. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


t^um must consider we are all mortal. And 
why should'st tk4m grieve when tA4m 
knowest ... I myself have my sorrow as 
well as M^^." ^ 
In this century the prevalence of ii€i is shown by 

the following statements :— ' 

H.Christmas, in Pegge's ^iy/^.» 3rd ed., 13 1, a 
Quaker rarely says, *" I hope thou art well ; 
wilt thou come and dine with me?'*— but, 

ok.+W. «! hope /A^^ are well; will iAee come and 
dine with me ? ** 
Gummere, /. r., 285, **In point of fact, few 
members of the Society of Friends use f&ou 
in familiar speech. They use the singular 
in familiar speech, but ... it is the dat- 
nom. t/i€e, not tAou. ... I have seen a 
familiar letter of an educated Friend, written 
in the early part of the eighteenth century,, 
where the tkee is used as nom., though any 
solemn passage calls out a formal tAou. . . • 
The most remarkable case I ever observed i 

was where a lady, not a Friend, extended 
to several visitors, who were of that sect, an 
invitation as follows: 'Won't M^^all walk 
into this room ? ' " 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


« ! - 

* In the same book, Squire Western also occasionally uiet 
thei at a nom. ; see iv., 309, ** I know her better than thsi dost **• . ^ 

* See also Abbott, Skakesp. Gramm.^ § 205 ; Storm, Bngl. j 
PhihLy p. ao9 (from UncU Tom*s Cabin) ; Wash. Moon, Bccissi- ^ 
«<. English, p. 17a I 





. t: In Miss Muloch's /oAn Halifax, GentUfnan, the 

; i ^ Friends constantly use this thee:-^ - 

.ji I., I, **Thee need not go into the wet" | 3, 

^^ ^ •* Unless thee wilt go with me " | 4, " Where 

%, dost thee come from? Hast thee any parents 

.:! living? How old might /A^^ be ? Theezti 

«; used to work ** | St " Thee shall take my son 

home ... art thee . . . " | 1 1, •* Thee be . . . 

has thm . . . //i^/rt" | 15,." Thee works . . . 

tlue hast never been •* | 23, *• Didn't thee say 

I /!A£^ wanted work? . . . thee need'st not be 

> f ashamed . . . Hast thee any money ? " | 24. 

j^ •• Canst thee'' \ 26, " Canst thee drive? . . . 

I thee can drive the cart . . . thee hasn't " | 

. 28, " Thee said thee had no money" | 49, 

" Thee doesn't," ^ etc., etc. 

, t_ 

209. (I so) Here I end my survey of the various 
case-shifting agencies andj>f their operations. As 
already mentioned, it^xtrenielyToil^n h^pens that 
in the same sentence two or more causes co-operate 
to make the speaker use a different case from what 
we should expect, or rather from what the grammar 
of an earlier stage of the language would require. 
The more frequently such concurrences occur, the 
greater the vitality of the new manner of using the 

* I do not know whether the inconsistencies in the use of 
the different persons of the verbs most be ascribed to the 
authoressi or if they really occur (or occurred) in the language 
as actually spoken by the Quakers. 

.^» V f 

Digitized byCjOOQlC 


Digitized byVjOOQlC . 


case in question. We saw in ( 178 that two separate ;r 
tendencies, whose cfTects do not appear properly tilt if; 

some two hundred years later, were powerful enough [? 

when co-operating to bring about a visible (that is, an f 

audible) result. And on reading again the quotations [■. \ 

used to illustrate the first sections of this chapter you If 

will find that the forms in e supply a comparatively L 

greater contingent than the other forms, showing thus j i 

the concurrence of the associations treated in § 193. ; ^ 

The facts which have been brought to light will, more- iJ 

over, have made it clear that with the pronouns of the 
second person more shifting agencies were at work ,1 

than with the rest (§§ 188, 189, 193-204), the result being i j 

that the original case-relations have been completely j-i 
revolutionised in these pronouns. In the case of 
/ and ;;/^, too, some special causes of changes in 

the case-relations have been pointed out (§§ 192, * ' 

193) ; but they proved to be much less power-, . |> 
ful than those seen in the second person, and operated v 

besides in opposite directions, so that the same aim- [ 
plicity as that found in j^ou was here impossible. 

Finally, we have seen that the invariable position of ! ^ ' 

wA^ before the verb has caused it to become a com- . f 

mon case, wAom being relegated to a very limited | i' 

province which it did not properly belong ta >: 

210. (151) There is one factor I have not taken j | 

into account, though it is nearly everywhere given as |^. 

explaining the majority of case-shiftings in a great r{-. 

many languageSi— I mean the Undetuy to kt thi object- j I 

iv€ case prevail over thi subjectivo case. My reason [ ^ 



■X is simply that this tendency cannot be considered 

It as a cause of case-shiftings ; it does-not show us how 

li these are called forth in the mind of the speaker; it 

' j; indicates the direction of change and the final result, 

V 1 but not its why and wherefore. Nay, in English, at 

' \ least, it does not even exhaustively indicate the 

* > direction of change, as will be gathered from some 

points in the above exposition : the nominative 

carries the day in the absolute construction, in wlw 

, \ and in the (vulgar) combination between you and I ; 

note also the change of the case used with the old 

'^ ' impersonal verbs. Still, it must be granted that the 

nominative generally has the worst of it ; this is a 

consequence of the majority of the case-shifting 

agencies operating in favour of the accusative ; thus, 

while it is only the position immediately before the 

verb that supports the nominative, the accusative is 

always the most natural case in any other position ; 

see, for instance,. the treatment of tlian as a preposi- 

^^ tion. 

211. (152) This will aflbrd an explanation of the 
fact that wherever we see the development of special 
?* emphatic or •* absolute " pronouns as opposed to con- 

/r joint pronouns (used in direct conjunction with the 

' verb), the former will as a rule be taken from the 

f j originally oblique cases, while the nominative is re- 

stricted to some sort of unstressed affix to the verb. 
"V Such a development is not carried through in 

<»? Standard English, which has formed the principal 

I subject of our investigations. But if we turn to the 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


dialects now existing in England, we shall find this 
distiMdion of absolute and conjoint proHouns made 
very frequently. A thorough examination of the 
case-relations of living dialects would present very 
great interest, although it would rather show the 
results of similar developments to those found in the 
literary language — ^with many deviations, it is true 
—than throw any fresh light on the agencies at work 
or the causes of the changes effected. These are 
best investigated in the literary language, because 
we there have materials from so many succeeding 
centuries that we are often enabled to discover the 
first germs of what living dialects would only present 
to us as a development brought to a definite (or pre- 
liminary) conclusion. For this reason, as well as for 
the obvious one that the dialects of our own days 
have not been so fully and reliably treated, especially 
with regard to syntax, as to render a satisfactory 
exposition possible, I shall content myself with a 
few remarks only on the pronouns in the dialects. 

212. (153) In the dialect of the southern counties 
of Scotland, so admirably treated by Dr. Murray 
an emphatic form, originating in the old accusative, 
is used very much as the corresponding forms in 
French, e^^ Tkaim 'at haes, aye geates mair ; mey^ aa 
canna gang (moi je ne peux pas aller) ; yuw an' mty '11 
gang owcr the feild. ** He gave it to you " - hey 
g^y^d; •• he gave it to YOU " - hey %9tyuufd; " he 
gave IT to you " - hey gae/^ hyt ; " he gave IT to 
YOU " - hey z^tyuw hyt. 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 



For the dialect of West Somerset, Eiworthy gives 
It no less than six series of forms, visi, for the nomina- 

'{ tive: (i) "full" forms, used when the nominative 

'.^^ stands before its verb with emphasis; among these 

^I forms we notice the old objective forms dhee and 

J I yite; perhaps also uur^ "her," if Dr. Murray is not 

'^7 right in considering it as the old nom. heo ; (2) un- 

emphatic forms used before the verb, generally the 
same forms as in the first series, only weakened [ee 
- ye ? ] ; (3) interrogative enclitic forms, among 
which [ees] us is noticeable as being used exactly 
- ' as the Shakespearian us in shalFs^ see above, § 186; 

in the third person pi. um « O. E. heom is used in 
the same manner; and (4) unconnected forms, all of 
them old accusatives, except he {ee\ compare § 196, 
and dhai. Then for the objective case we have two 
series of forms : (i) the unemphatic, of which we note 
• . the second person pi. ee - ye and the third person 

• f . sg. masc., un^ n » O. E. hine, see § 151 ; and (2) em- 

)' phatic or prepositional, among these aary concur- 

*; rently with tnee, and wee with uus (§ 196), and on the 

same principle also ee* (he) and shee* ; finally dhal 
C Whom has here as well as in Scotch been completely 

. i *. superseded by who. 

*! In the vulgar dialects of the town populations 

; \\ (especially of the London Cockney) the accusative 

' '-^ \ • has been victorious, except when the pronoun Ls used 
; '\ in immediate conjunction with the verb as its subject; 

a point of 3pecial interest is the use of tlum as an 
''']\ attribute adjective before a noun. As examples 

, \ Digitized by LjOOQIC 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


abound everywhere, I shall give only a few, of which I; 
the first and third are peculiarly instructive for the 

distinction of absolute and conjoint forms : — ^ ^. 

Dickens, Jf. Ch., 352, *• Don't tluy expect you \ 

then?* inquired the driver. 'Who?' said % 

Tom. • Why, them^ returned the driver- | ^ 
Orig. Engl.^ 14a '^ Him and mother and 
baby and tne could all go with him" | 133, 

^ Tlum paddling steamers is the ones for \ 

goin'. r^f;^ just begin to puflTabit first" Com- '! 

pare, however, 90, ** Themes the two I see ". 1 

213. (154) To return to Standard English. We ^ 

see that the phenomena dealt with in this chapter j 

bear on accidence {you^ who)^ on syntax (himself ^a the / 

subject, the absolute nominative, the subject of passive 1 

verbs, etc.) and finally on word signification (the mean- ; 

ingof some of the old impersonal verbs now being \' 
changed; the old like -■ "to be pleasant,'* the modem 

like " " to be pleased with "). I shall here call special - \ 

attention to the latent though complete change which r 
has taken place in the grammatical construction of 
more than one phrase while seemingly handed down 

unchanged from generation to generation. I am think- ;' 
ing of such phrases as :— 

if you like^ 

if you please^ tj 

formerly : dat (pi.) 3rd pers. sg. subjunct. /i 

rfow : nom. (sg.) 2nd pers. (sg. or pi.) indie ' j 

'See alto Mim Muloch, J. Haltfax, 307: *• Let us talk of 
toroething else. Of Mim March ? Sks has been greatly better 
"' " Sh$? No, not W to-day." I 



ir • 

Compare also/vw tuere better do it, vfhereyou was a 
i-j; dative and is now the subject in the nominative, and 

where simultaneously tcv/r has changed imperceptibly 
from the third person singular (// being understood) 
to the second person pi. or sg. In handing some- 
thing to some one you will often say, ** Herey<m are I"* 
^r\ meaning, ^ Here is something for you, here is what you 

' want ". I think that this phrase too contains an old 

dative; and perhaps, some centuries ago, in handing 
only one thing, people would say, ** Here you is P * 
214. (155) A scheme of the pronominal forms 
S ' treated in the present chapter according to their 

' values in the every-day language of the close of the 

. ' nineteenth century would look something like this :— 

: ; Subject, joined Nominative, when not Everywhere 

to the verb : joined to the verb : else : 

/, we me^ we me, us 

^\\ yoH yim you 

hi, she, they he, she, they him, her, them 

(himsel/, herself , himself , herself , himself , herself , 
.1 ' themselves) themselves themselves 

^: : who whofn, who who 

P' 216. If now finally we ask : Are the changes de- 

scribed in this chapter on the whole progressive? 

' Another case in point is perhaps the obsolete combination 
V^ withybfM; Chaucer has ** no force'* {Jon) with the meaning 

** no matter, it does not matter" : fime is here the noun, Fr. 
forte. If this waa used with a dative (Sh., Lov$'$ L., v., s, 44<^ 
**you Jorce not to ibrsweare ") it would look like a verb» and 
the next step wouM then be to use it as in Sh^ Lmt.* xoax, 
**lJon$ not argument a straw*'. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


the ansvirer must be an affirmative one. Although ^ 

for obvious reasons (see { 64) pronouns are more apt I 

to preserve old irregularities than other classes of I 

words, we find instead of the old four irr^ular forms, j 

/kou, /AUf j^e said jfou, one form carried through uni- & 

formly ; the same uniformity is, as far as case is con- 
cerned, observable in the j^^forms as compared with 
the old A€ self^ him self, etc, and w/io shows almost 
the same indifference to cases. Then there is some 
progress in syntax which does not appear from the ^ 

scheme just given. Many of the uncertainties in the | 

choice of case exemplified in the early sections of the 3 

chapter are owing to a want of correspondence be- ij 

tween the logical and grammatical categories ; for in- y, 

stance, when a word might be logically, but not 
grammatically, the subject. Sometimes, also, one 
grammatical rule would require one case, and another 
equally applicable rule a difierent one. The incon- f 

sistency was particularly glaring where the logical |; 

(and psychological) subject was to be put in quite ^' 

another case than that generally used to denote the 
subject ; and here, with the old impersonal verbs and j ' 

in the absolute construction, logic has completely con- -\ 

quered the old grammar. The rule which is entirely y. 

incompatible with the old sUte of things, that the p 

word immediately preceding the verb is logically and ^ 

grammatically the subject of the sentence, has been i 

carried through on the whole with great consistency. fi 

And in the great facility which the English have now ' 

acquired of making the real psychological subject i 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 




. I 

• > k 



:''] grammatically the subject of a passive sentence, the 

i-j- language has gained a decided advantage over the 

« i :• kindred languages, an advantage which Danish is even 

now struggling to acquire, in spite of the protests of 

the schoolmaster grammarians. Thus we see that 

\ many phenomena, which by most grammarians would 

\^ be considered as more or less gross blunders or " bad 

grammar/' but which are rather to be taken as 

; natural reactions against the imperfections of tradi- 

* tional language, are really, when viewed in their 

historical connexion, conducive to progress in lan- 

•i r guage. 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 




216« To a mind trained exclusively in Latin (or 
German) grammar such English constructions as 
•• the Queen of England's power/' or "he took 
somebody else's hat," must seem very preposterous ; 
the word that ought to be in the genitive case (Queen^ 
somebody) is put in the nominative or accusative, 
while in the one instance England^ whose power is 
not meant, and in the other even an adverb, is put in 
the genitive case. Similarly, in the case of** words in 
apposition," where it might be expected that each 
would be put in the genitive, as in " King Henry the 
Eighth's reign," only one of them takes the genitive 

217. In an interesting and suggestive article, ** Die 
genetische erklarung der sprachlichen ausdrucks- 
formen" {Englische Studien, xiv., 99), H. Kling- 
iiARDT makes an attempt to explain thi»t as well as 
other peculiarities of English grammar (the passive, in 
" the request was complied with," ** he was taken no 
notice of," •'with one another,** etc.), by the power 
of the accent. ^ In English," he says, ^ unstressed 

Digitized by LjOOQIC • 



■f : 

-' ) . vowek are weaker than in German ; and the distinc- 

j ! tion between stressed and unstressed syllables 

. jJ greater. So it is with the stressed words of a 

,-':i ' sentence in relation to the unstressed words sur- 

^ I rounding them ; the action of stress therefore reaches 

\ :j farther than in German ; emphatic words are capable 

z'^,^ of gathering around them a greater number of weak 

words than in German. . . . The [German] pupil 

will now understand how easily and conveniently in 

.^ English small groups of words, such as Kin^ Henry the 

Eighth^ are joined together under one accent, and are 

1 ' ^ / inflected, put in the Saxon genitive, etc, exactly in 

\ the same manner as single words." 

^ . I 218. I do not think that this theory is the correct 

f. . one, and I shall state my objections. In the first 

; place, we are not told which word in the group is 

;. invested with that powerful accent that is said to 

\ \ keep the group together. Nothing hinders us from 

. .. \ pronouncing a group like *' King Richard the Second's 

T \ reign ** at one moment with strong stress on Richard 

^ , ' ; (as opposed to, say, Edward II.) and at the next with 

\ '. great emphasis on the numeral (as opposed to Richard 

. ^: I the Third) ; we may also pronounce the two words 

with even stress ; yet in all of these cases the gram- 

; V matical construction is the same. Next, if we adopt 

-. .; Dr. Klinghardt's theory, we must assume an historical 

change in English accent which seems to be supported 

. : ; by no other fact And thirdly, the theory fails c6m- 

'^\ : pletely to account for the difference between the 

. ; \, final s in genitives like Queen of England s or sisUr'in' 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


law% and the internal s in plurals like the queens of | 

England or sisters-in-law. \ \ 

Before venturing to propose a new explanation it \\ . 

will be well to look somewhat closely at the historical { 

development of the several phenomena with which we \^ 

are here concerned. I shall group my examples ^ 
under six heads. 

219. AttribatiYO words (adjectives, articles) were 
in Old English and in the first period of Middle 
English inflected equally with the substantives to 
which they belonged. But as early as the b^inning 
of the thirteenth century we find the modem con- 
struction used alongside with the old one: thus in 
the case of the definite article : — 

Aneren Riwle^ 82, **J>es deofles beam, pes deofles 

bles •• I 84. "A^ deofles corbin " | 142, " tes 

deofles pufles" | 188, '' tes deofles bettles/' 

etc. I I 210, ''f% deofles seruise" | 212 and 

216, *' i9e deofles kurt" | 212, '* i9e deofles 

berme" | 134, "of A^ deofles gronen," etc. 

I have not examined the matter closely enough to 

be positive, but it seems as if the uninflected form 

was chiefly used after prepositions, and it is not 

entirely improbable that the uninflected genitive of 

the* article originates in those cases where the article 

belongs as properly or more properly to the noun 

following than to the genitive : in the (devil's) service^ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


I : 

*•« or in the devils-servia} Examples of adjectives 

* from the same text : — 


4pi^ ** of nodes monnes blod " | no, "his moderes 

wop & )>e oSres Maries" | 406, ** mints federes 

^ ^ luue" I 48, ''eueriches limes uelunge" | 180, 

\zi ^eturichesUcsche^tise^* I I94,'')>isses worldes 

r'^X figelunge" | 198, '^l^isses hweolpes nurice** 

•V f II 94, " euerich ones mede " | 112," eturich 

monnesfleschs" I 6/'efter^j^Aonesmanere'* 

I 134, " efter euerich ones cfne ". 

220. In Chaucer we find no single trace of an 

i . ' J r inflected genitive of any attributive adjective; the 

,'. rapid disappearance of the s in the gen. may to 

^ « J a great extent be due to the analogical influence of 

the weak forms of the adjective, in which after the 

loss of the final n the endings were the same for the 

> J 1 genitive as for all the other cases. 

* \\ In present-day English most adjectives are placed 

: \ ; before their nouns, and then are never inflected ; an 

. ;/ adjective put after its noun is only capable of assum- 

•[) ing the genitive s in cases like Henry the Eighth's; 

, * Y ^ it is impossible to say, for example, the wotfuu 

s: t presents opinions. Comp. Marlowe, Jew^ 242, " That 

\ . .\ ! you will needs haue ten years [genitive!] tribute 

! \ \ V ! past^ (« the tr. of ten years past). 

: ■•J:, II. 

: ! f^ 22L Two or more words in appodtloii. Examples 

* w :f! of the old full inflexion:— 

4 % • * The same explanation holds good for the a4j. in A. Rt i90» 

J .:;< •'Ifortf/lwworldetgokle'*. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


A. S. Chron., E., 853, " j€9elwul/es dohtor West j 

Seaxna cininges"' \ ibid., ^4., 918, ''OiEad- \ 

weardes cyninges anwalde ** | ibid., D., 903, ; 

** A)>uir ealdorman, EalliswySe broSor, End- \ 

weardes moder cynges (brother of EalhswySe, ! 

the mother of King Edward) " | iClfric, \ 
Sweet's A. S. Reader, 14 b, 7, ••On Herodes 
dagum cyninges ** | ibid., 1 3<5, " lacobes wif 
Has heah/aderes'* \ ibid., 15, 231, ** Aidanes 

ssL\y\e/Hes halgan bisceopes"" \ A. R., 312,** We | 

beo8 alle Codes sunen l>e kinges of heouene** y 

I Ch., M., %u, 349 (102 1), "By my modres : 

Ceres soule "• . 

It will be observed that the two words in apposi- | 
tion are frequently separated by the governing word ; 

in the following two instances we cannot decide by ) 

the form whether the last words are in the nomina- \ 

tive or in the genitive case, as neither of them fonncd ^ 

the genitive in s at that period : — * ;' 

A. R., 146, *^Hesteres bone J}e cwene** \ ibid, 412, '. 

" Seinte Mane dei Magdalene''. \- 

222. But in a great many cases, where we have j 

this word-order — and it is, indeed, the order most (; 

frequently used throughout the M. E. period * — there T 
can be no doubt that the last word is put in the 

nominative (or common) case. The leaving out of i: 

the case-sign is rare in Old English, but extremely : 

* C£ ZupitzA*8 note to Guy cf Wtitwick, L 687, where many \ 

examples are collected (**on >e maydenyt halfe Blanchflowe,** ;f 

etc), and Kellner, Blanclmrdyn, cvii. 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


L >^ 




T. .^ common in Middle Englbh; in Modern English it 

1'.*^ is getting rarer again. The phenomenon is to be 

classed with those mentioned above» § 163. 

.-• !^ A.S.CAraH.,E.,SsS, **ToKar/esdohtor Francna 

r^ I dning'' \A.R., 148, ** Moiseses hond, Godcs 

> z^ proplute'' I ibid,^ 244, "Jiuruh lulianes heste 

,**-5 ^ amperur** \ 352, ** Ine /esu Cristes rode, 

'\'\ mi louerd'' \ Ch., /T^wx </ /^, 142, **5<;'j 

' . J body /A^ >fciVf^" | 282, "The kinges meting 

. -^} Pharao'* \ Ch., A, 431, '' Kenulphus sone, 

- : \ the noble *//f^of Mercenrike" | R, 672, "The 

; ^ ' god Mercurius hous the j^^*' | L. C H', 

.. ^ 1468, " Isiphilee the shene, That whylom 

i, . \ Th(His 6o^X,tx was, the king^' \ Malory, 70, 

^ ' Y " ^y "*y fi'de^^ soule Vtherpendragon ** | 

piy'^Gaweyn shalle reuenge his,/ft<^jdeth 

^/ir^if iL^//i"| 126, ''In his wyues armcs 

i, Morgan Ufay*^ \ Marl., TamburL, 193, "In 

11; the circle of your fathers armes, The 

mightie Souldan of Egyptia " | Greene, 

- * ^ Friar A, 2, 10, "To Bacon's secret cell, A 

'i j /nVir newly staird in Brazennose'' | Sh., i 

^: r /r, / K., ii., 4, 1 14, " I am not yet of Perdes 

, i mind, the Hotspum of the North, he that 

'« '^ killes me some sixe or seaucn dozen of 

- ; Scots •• I Matt, xiv., 3 (Auth. V.). " For 

; ; //iT/Wm/ sake, his brother Philip's wife*' \ 

:.:^>; Wycherley (Mermaid Sen), 24, "He has 

<( now pitched his nets for Gripes daughter, 

: • \y the rich scrivener^ \ Tennyson, 322, ^Merlufs 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



hand, the M^tg^e at Arthur's court " | Mth, 
Arnold, Poeiiu, i., 191, ** Doubtless thou 
fearest to meet BaUer^s voice, Thy brother^ 
whom through folly thou didst slay".* 
228. In Middle English the opposite word-order, 
with the whole genitival group before the governing 
word, is sometimes found ; and in course of time it 
becomes more frequent; the genitive sign is only 
added to the last word. This construction is especi- 
ally frequent when a proper name is preceded by a 
title, while it is generally avoided when the proper 
name is followed by a somewhat lengthy apposition. | 

I have not thought it necessary to give many modem 
examples : — 

0. E. Homilies^ ii., 3, " After un lauerd ihesu ^ 

cristes tocume " | Ch., L. G.^ 2247, " King' f ; 

Pofidiones faire doghter " | F., 672, " The god ! 

Mercurius hous** | Zupitza's Guy^ 1956, •* The 
dewke Segwyns cosyn " | ibid.^ 8706, " The 
kynge Harkes lande" | Malory, 232, *' My 
lady my staters name is dame Lyonesse " 
I Roister, 67, •• For my frietide GoodlucHs ? - 

sake" I Marl., Tamb., 1168, "By Mahomet j : 

my kinsmans sepulcher " | Thack., P., i., 18, (^ 

'< Miss Hunkle, of Lilybank, old Hunkle the / 

Attorneys 6dMf^ttr*\ [' 

' Mth. Arnold, Po^ms^ i., 15a, we have a closely connected 

phenomenon, namely, the repetition of a genitive in the common | 

caee, in-order to tack on to it a relative clause : ** And straight j 

he will come down to Ocmmi'i strand, Octan whose watery ring • ^ 

enfolds the world **. n 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



./ 't' 



. I 224. When the governing word is not expressed, 

^ the j-ending is — or was — often added to the first 

noun exclusively ; Lindley Murray says (Grammar, 
. 8th edit, p. 262) that of the three forms, ** I left the 

i parcel at Smith V, the bookseller" : or ^^t Smith, the 

I bookscUer^s •• : or "at Smith's, the bookseller V— 

\, the first is most agreeable to the English idiom ; and 

i if the addition consists of two or more nouns, the case 

seems to be less dubious ; as, " I left the parcel at 
. * Smith's, the bookseller |md stationer **. This does not 

.| now apply to a group consisting of a title and a proper 

i ' name, as it did formerly* witness the first two of the 

following quotations, which would in modem speech 
be King AUxandei^s and Admiral Presanis. Even 
the last example does not seem to be now very 
natural; and custom is perhaps more and more in 
favour of saying ""at Smith, the bookseller's," or ''at 
; Smith's, the bookseller's,'* unless "the bookseller" is 

only part of a phrase, eg., ''at Smith's, the book- 
seller in Trinity Street ". At least, this is the opinion 
of Mr. G. C Moore Smith. 

Guy of IVarw., 792 1, " Hyt [the helme] was Aiy- 

i' f sawnJurs the kynge'' \ ibid,, 8714, "Hyt [the 

:'\ cuntre] ys admyrals Presa$te'* \ Sh., H. V^ i.t 

* [ 2, 105, " Inuoke his warlike spirit, and/^r 

) ;, great vnckles, Edward the Black Prince'* 

I I Thack., P., i., 259, " He managed to 

V: run up a fine bill at Nine's, the Uvery stable- 

*^ ke^er"* \ ibid., \\., 199, " I remember at poor 

Rawdon Crawley s. Sir Pitt Crawley's 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


brother'' \ Bcaconsf., Uth., i6. "Villas like 
my cousin's, the Duke of Luton '\ 
226. When one of the words in apposition is a per- 
sonal pronoun a special difficulty arises from the 
genitive proper being here replaced by a possessive 
pronoun. What is the genitive of " we, the tribunes " ? 
It would be a little awkward to say *" our, the tribunes' 
power/' and so most people would probably say with 
Shakespeare (Cir., iii., 3, 100), "the power of vs tht 
tribunes *. 

The want of a comprehensive genitive is most fre- 
quently felt when all or both is subjoined to we, you ^ 
or they. Here O. E. had a fully inflected form, heora 
btgra lufu, *' the love of them both ** ; heora begra eagan, 
"the eyes of them both" (in M. E. often with the 
gen. form, bather, bother)^ ealra ura. A few examples 
will show this combination in M. E. : — 

Lay., 5283 (quoted by Koch, ii., 240), ^^ Heore beire 
nomc ich I>c wulle telle" | Leg. St. Kath., 
1 790, " Hare baSre luue " | Perc, 3 1 , " At ther 
botlures wille" | \A. R., 52, •'Eue vre aire 
moder^' | Ch., A., 799, "At our oiler cost** \ ^ 

ibid.^ 823, *' Up roos our hoste, and was our 
aller cok " | M. P., i., 84, ''Oure alder foo" 
I L. G. W., 298, "^ Our alder ^xW' \ Mai., 134, 
"Kynge Arthur, our alther liege lord "I 
James I., King's Q., **}oure aller is frende " (in 
NED, all D. ii., 4, cf. ibid., both 4 b, and see \ 

also Matzner, Wb., '^alldi^, and be^en**). \, 

Note the excrescent -es in botheres and eUleris, show- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


int; that the value of the old genitive ending had been 
forgotten. In a few cases we find the common gen. 
ending added to do^A : — 

Ch., M. P., 1 , 83, •• But, (or /our bathes peynes, I you 

i preyc'* | Mai, 98, "To our bathes destruction"; 

\ but in the great majority of cases both and all are 

\ used without any ending ; the possessive is generally 

V placed after the adjective, but the two first examples 

will show the opposite order : — 

'5 Ch^ B.^ 221," Di versi t ee bit wene her bathe lawes " 

' • \M. P., ^ 52, " by her bathe assent " | 

i ' MaL, 71, ^ Both Iter swerdys met euen to 

gyders". | jg,'* Ihaue^^M/^fiVhedes" | 151, 

•• Layd the naked swerd ouerth wart bathe their 

^ throtes" | Roister, 31, "To both our heartes 

; ease** I Marl. Tamb., 4644, '* Bath their 

worths" I Greene, /^ B^%, 1 10, ''Both ourcsLt- 

;- cases'* I Sh., W. T., v., 3, 147, ''Both your 

pardons " | R. //., iii., 3, 107, •• By the royal- 

y tics oibothyour bloods " | Cor., i., 6, 8, *' Both 

our powers" | ibid., iii., 1,103, '^ Bath your 

voices" I R. ni.,\., 2, 191, "To both their 

^ ■;• deaths " | T. 5., v., 2, 1 5, " For both our sakes " 

; i I Milton, P.L., vL, 170, "Asbath their deeds 

*\ compared this day shall prove " | Thack., 

V. F., 258, " Both their husbands were safe " 

V I ibid^ S07. ''Both their lives" | Pend, i., 

304, '' That warmth belonged to both their 

natures*' | R. Browning, iii^ 306, " For both 


3: iheirnkes". 

Digitized by GoOglC ■-'^■■' 


226. It will be noticed that in most cases it is 
perfectly immaterial to the meaning of the passage 
whether we take iolA as qualifying the pronoun or 
the following substantive, as each of us has only one 
head, one throat, one life, etc But in other instances 
the same consideration does not hold good ; when 
we read, for instance, in /oAm Halifax^ Gent,^ ii., 76, 
'' the name set both our thoughts anxiously wandering,** 
the meaning cannot be that each of them had only 
got one wandering thought, so that both must certainly 
here be taken as a genitive case. But the tendency 
goes undoubtedly in the direction of taking both as a 
nominative, the construction being avoided whenever 
that would be obviously impossible: I suppose it 
would be fruitless to search through the whole of 
the English literature for a connexion like " both our 
four eyes,** although, indeed, Fielding writes {Tom 
Jones, iii., 45) : '' Both their several talents were ex- 
cessive " (each had several talents) ; compare ibid.^ 
iii., 66, '*The two ladies who were riding side by 
side, looking steadfastly at each other ; at the same 
moment both their eyes became fixed ; both their 
horses stopt," etc. 

On the other hand, '' the sb. often improperly took 
the plural form by attraction of the pronoun ; ^ this 
idiom is still in vulgar use, as ' It is both your faults ! 

^The same tort of attraction may occasionally be found 
where there it no tuch word at holh to attitt in occationing 
it; tee Thack., BalMs, 80^ ''The ladiet took the hint, And 
all day were tcrtptng lint, At became their tofter g$mUr$ **• 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 





^•5 • 

> .} 


. ^1 • she is both their inothtrs ' '' (Murray, N. E. D.). This 

. f . I take to be the reason of the pi.' hopes in Marl., 

. /ew^ 879, ** He loues my daughter, and she holds 

him dear. But I have sworn to frustrate doth their 

hopes'^ (1*hey have one and the same hope.) So 

•i . also in : — 

\^ Sh., AWs^ i,, 3, 169, •*You arc my mother, 

:' , Madam; would you were (So that my 

• Lord your sonne were not my brother) 

\ indeed my mother, or were you both our 

mothers . . ." | Ro., ii., 3, 51, ''Both our 
remedies Within thy helpe and holy phy- 
sicke lies (note the sg. of the verb) | 
Fielding, T. /., iii., 82, " It was visible 
'-; enough from both our behaviours *\^ 

' ' Examples of the group genitive with a/f preceding 

5 a possessive pronoun : — 

] ' > Mr. G. C Moore Smith criticises the view expressed in the 

. I text, writing as IfoUows : ** I think you are right on * both 

!-; your faults*. But in *both our mothers* and ^both their 

j hopes * I think the notion is plural, as well as the expression. 

v; She is— both our— mothers. That- is, the mind conceives 

the two persons for a moment as having each a mother (or a 

hope of his own)— and then identifies these mothers and hopes. 

Even if you and I hope for the same end, there are two hopes. 

If you lost yours, I might keep mine. Of course it may be 

^ . true, as you say, that the use of the plural is due to attraction 

^ i! from boih: still it carries with it a sense of plurality, which 

f: is present to the speaker's mind. So with * genders *«as 

became the sex of each one, sex being looked on as an 

individual attribute like her name.** 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Ch,, Af, P.f 5, 61 8, " I have herd alyoure opinion " a 

I P., 396. ""AlU her hertes " | B., 4562, - Hir i;; 

housbondes lostcn alU hir lyves " | MaL, 1 34, 
'' AUtheir\axn€\s'' \ Marl., Tamb., 1877,-^i/ 
<?i^r bloods'* I Sh., C^., iv., 6, 35, ''AUour '\ 

lamentotion " | Sheridan, Dr. IV., 68, **TeII ! I 

her 'tis aU our ways" | Dick., M. Ch., 400, | ' 

" For all our sakes " | Stevenson, TV. /r/.. j 

283. "It went to all our hearts" | Hood, ] 

** He had drunk up all the stout to all their 
very good healths" | G. Eliot, Mill, ii., 210^ 
'^ All their hearts are set on Tom's getting 
back the miir\ 
227. As the subject of the action expressed by a 
verbal noun in -ing is sometimes put in the genitive 
(I insist on your coming) and sometimes in the • ! 

common case (I insist on all coming), a possibility 
arises of combining these two expressions ; i^ote the ;* 

different ways in which this is done in the following 
examples : — 

Sheridan, *' I insist on your all meeting me here '' X 

I ibid.. Dram. Works, 56, ** The confusion 
that might arise from our both addressing v 

the same lady •• | Fielding, T./, Hi., 71, •* It *; 

cannot be wondered at that thiir retiring all t 

to sleep at so unusual an hour should excite ^ 

his curiosity " | Dick., quoted by Koch, ;;; 

'* Our all thru coming together was a thing 
to Ulk about *" I Beaconsf., Lothair, 435, "^ I ' ^' 

fancy the famous luncheons at Crecy House l • 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


i ■ 


V-* will always go on, and be a popular mode of 

^v tkei'r al/ meeting'* ; 

'\ where, perhaps, o/aU of them meeting (or : for them 

p all to meet) would be preferable ; but note that the 

t: order of the words all their^ ordinary as it is in other 

i\ cases, is here inadmissible. 

-» 228* Here I finally quote some passages where of 

\\ is used to avoid all our : — 

I Ch., C, 192, "lesu Crist, herde of vs alle*" 


Malory, 84, ** The names of them dotAe" \ 

Greene, F. B., 10, 17, " The liking fancy of 
I you both*' \ ibid., 10, 25, "To avoid dis- 

;; pleasure of you both"* \ Thack., P., ii., 215, 

* ^ •• The happiest fortnight in the lives of both of 

thetn " I /Aw/., 220, " The characters of both 
1 ^f y^^ will be discussed *• | ibid.^ 329, 337, 

etc. I Fra9ii FairL, i., 337, " She was the 
J life and soul of us all" \ Troll., Duh^s Ch., 

t\ i., 254, ** For the happiness of them dU'\ 

i; For the genitive of both of you, some of you, etc., cf. 

ji below, § 232. 

'4 229* For the genitive of we two, etc., I am able to 

(] give four quotations : showing, first, the old genitive 

•j of two; then the unchanged form; thirdly, the rare 

i /-gen. ; and finally an evasion of the difficulty by an 

1 . appositional construction : — 

ij A. R., 4p6, ** I Jnsse tweire monglunge " | MaL, 

r' , no, "What be^wrii names?'* | BuUokar, 

jEiop., 9Q» ** OurtwooM chatuf " \ Miss Muloch, 
:ij HaUfar, ii., 209, "You must let me go • • . 

Digitized byVjOOQl^ 


anywhere— out of their sight — tkasi two** f 

(>■ out of the sight of those two). f^ 

HI. ':\ 

280« Two nouns are oonneoted by a prepositton, ;| 

e^., father-in-law^ the Queen of England, In old times 
such word-groups were not felt as inseparable units, ' | 

as they are now ; witness Chaucer, A, 3870, '^ Ageyn j 

Pompeius, /u^thyn in lawe^. Consequently, when \ 

they were to be used in the genitive, they were ' 

separated by the governing word ; this was the ^ 

universal practice up to the end of the fifteenth 

Ch., B., 3442, •* of hinges blood Of Peru is she ^ 

descended" | B., 3846, '' Philifpes sonc of \ 

Mactdoyne " | E.^ 1 170, - for the wyues loue \ 

of Bathe'' \ M., iv., 108, "That was the 
kynge Priamus sone of Troye^ \ \ Malory, 
45, •* The dukes wyf of TyntagaU*" \ 127, " I 
am the lordes doughter of this castel^ \ 141, ^ 

"^ Th^ l^ges sont of Ireland!" etc. ; 

The same construction is resorted to even in more f 

recent times whenever the ordinary' construction ;^ 

would present special difficulties. It is possible to V 

denote a lady as " she in the cap," but how about the ^v 

genitive case of such a group ? Shakespeare says : . ;> 
""Vihsx'shermmeinthecap?*' (Z.Z.Z.,IL,209)— •*For 
honour of former deedJ sake " would be rather heavy ; R 

so Milton puts it {Sa$ns. Ag., 372), • For honouf^stakc ^; j 

of former deeds ". Compare also Sh., i H. IV., iii., 2, . c 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




lift " TAe Archbishops grace of York'' « the Arch- 
bishop of York's grace » his Grace the Archbishop 
of York. 

28L But as early as Chaucer we find occasional 
traces of the modern construction creeping in: at 
least, I venture to interpret the following passages as 
containing it:— 

M. P.^ 3, 168, " Morpheus, and Eclympastcyre, 
That was the god of slepes heyre " (heir of 
♦ ■ the god of sleep) | Hous 'of Fatne^ 399, 

\\ "Ovide, That hath ysowen wonder wide 

}\ The grete god of loves name" (one MS. 

^ . has •* the god of hue hys'") | L. G. W., 206, 

H. . *• For deynteeofthe nezve sotneres sake I bad 

i j : hem strawen floures on my bed "•* 

':^| ' From the Elizabethan period the modem usage 

'3 1 may be considered as settled and universal ; Ben 

2 J * Jonson mentions in his Grammar (printed 1640, 
•J p, 72) the construction "for the Duke's men of 

f Mysia^ as existing beside that of ^^ the Duke of 

Mysids men " ; but this may be the ordinary con- 
:| p; servatism of grammarians, for the former construction 

seems to be practically never used at that time; in 
Wallis's Gramm. Lingua Anglicana^ 1653, p. 81, the 
•only form mentioned is " The King of Spain's Court". 
I add here a few examples from the three last 

\ V 

4 • 

•j I 

^ In Malory, 108, 1 find, <' My name is Gauayne, thekyng Lott 
of Orkeney tone **; $ seems here left out by a misprint (Lots ? 
Orkeneys ?} ; immediately after that passage the ordinary way 
of putting it is found : ** Kyng Lots sone of Orkeney *\ 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


centuries to show the extent of the use of the 

modem construction : — 

MarL, Tamb.^ 645, " The King o/Perseas crowne " 
I ibid., 3298, " Blood is the God of Wars 
rich lluery'* | Sh,, R. IIL/\.,Af 131, ''The 
Duke of Glousters purse" | Swift, Gull., 133, 
" To any village ox person of quality s house ** 
I Fields T. /., iv., 291, "Signed with the 
son of a whores own name " | The, P., L, 
20, *^ Mrs. Wapshot, as a doctor of divini^s 
. lady" I ibid, i., 164, " The tnetnbtr of Parlia- 
ments lady" I Carlyle, Her,, 2, "A man's 
religion is the chief fact with r^^rd to him. 
A man's or a nation of metis ** \ ibid., 87, 
" The man of busines/s faculty " | Pattison, 
Milton, 44, '"Agar, who was in the Clerk 
of the Crowris office" | G. Eliot, Life and 
L., \\., 190, " I had a quarter of an hour^s 
chat with him " | Ruskin, Select., L, 133, 
*' In some quarter of a miUs walk " | Co. 
Doyle, Stud^ in Sc, 88, "I endeavoured 
to get a couple of hours' sleep " | Christina 
Rossetti, Verses, "Lo, the King of Kiftg^ 
daughter, a high princess". 
Sometimes, but very rarely indeed, an ambiguity 

may arise from this sort of construction, as in the 

well-known puzzle : •* The son of Pharaoh's daughter 

was the daughter of Pharaoh's son". 
In ordinary language the construction is found 

only with the preposition of and in the words son-in^ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 





: l law} etc, so also the Commander-in-Chuf^s levees 

4/- (Thack., Esmond^ i-, 345) and perhaps: 'Tor God in 

^f Heaveiis sake". But in dialects it is used with other 

:..| ~ prepositions as well ; Murray gives as Scotch {Dial 

l\ of the Southern Counties^ p. 166) : '' the rnhn-wui-the- 

'.Tj quheyte-CMots horse**; and £1 worthy quotes from 

- :] Somersetshire (Gramm. of the Dial, of W. Soms.% 

' ^' p. 157): Jan Sntok uwt tu Langtmrdz duung kee, 

\ * John Snook out of Langford's donkey " ; Mr. Buurj 

\ tu ShoaUur u Muutuns paig, ""Hit. Bridge of the 

. |, Shoulder of Mutton's pig ^ 

' ^ / 282. What is the genitive of some ofthem^ any of 

you^ one of us? There is some difficulty here, and the 
)> , reason of it is the same as we met with before, vis., 

.1' the difference between a genitive proper and a pos- 

sessive pronoun, cf. § 225. In olden days, when a 
partitive relation could be expressed by the gen. pU 
' / we occasionally find formations like these: A. R., 

204, ** here summes nome " (the name of some of them), 
. '; where the genitive ending b tacked on to the nom., 

I Y or Orrm, 1. 2506, ** & all onn ane wise fell till 03}'^ 

I [\ >Q3'«^ herrte'' (to the heart of either of them), 

^j where it is added to the old gen. pL 

From more recent times, where the partitive re- 
lation has to be expressed by ^, I have noted the 

' It it curiotts to note that th« gen* pi. of these words, son'tn* 
teWf dmi£ht$rHH*UWf etc., it avoided, although it would be one 
of the few inttancet in which there would be three different 
fermt for the gen. tg., nom. pL and gen. pi.: **I know all my 
*9 m u ii t4fr*i friendt **. 


y I 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


following instances of the possessive pronoun being 
used where the genitive belongs properly to the 
whole oomUnation ; it will be noticed that in most, 
though not in all cases, it does not affect the meaning 
of the clause whether we take the adjective, etc., as 
referring to the genitive or to the governing word 
(for ^some of the men's heads "* means either ** some 
of the heads of the men,*" or ''the heads of some of 
the men ") : — 

Malory, 79, " I maye not graunte mytker of her 
hedes"|Sh., Tw. N., iiL, 4, 184, -God 
haue mercie vpon one of our soules " (the 
soul of one of us) | R. IL, i., 3» 194, "Had 
the king permitted vs, One of our soules 
had wandred in the ayre " | 2 /f. IV,^ iL, 
4, 16, " They will put on two of our ierkins *• 
(the jerkins of two of us) | 7*. 5., v., 2, i/i, 
" My mind has been as big as one of yours ** 
(as that of one of you) | Drayton, Lav^s 
Farewell, " Be it not seen in either of our 
brows That we one jot of former love re- 
tain " I Moore, Ir. Mel.. ** (And doth not a 
meeting like this) Though haply o*er sotne 
of your brows, as o'er mine. The snowfall of 
time may be stealing '' | Black, Fortunatus^ 
i., 183, " The hopeless resignation that had 
settled on some of their {dMS " | Thack., P., 
iii., 383, ''A painful circumstance which is 
attributable to none of our faults '^ (to the 
fault of none of us) | Co. Doyle, Study in 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

. % 


,i j Sc, 141, "Without meaning to hurt et^Aer 

»j i of your feelings" | T. Hughes, T, Browris 

-\^\\ Schoold., 118, 'Tm taking the trouble of 

'}'' ~ writing this true history for all of your 

' ' •: . benefits " | Jerrold, Caudle, 1 7, " The brandy 

-^:' you've poured down both of your throats" 

I Stevenson, CiUriona^ 29, " For all of our 

'\t I sakes ". 

' j Dr. Murray once told me that it would be possible 

* \ for a Scotchman to add the s to the whole of such 

1 a combination C' Is this ony ofyou^s ? *\ and that you 

A ^ might even, though rarely, in colloquial English hear 

''; •*This must be some of yotis*^. I have some sus- 

f picion that this construction is a little less rare in 

'\ . colloquial language when there is a word added in 

-1 apposition to you : " Is this any of you children's ? " 

288. In the case of a word defined by a following 
'\ adverb, the old practice was to add the s of the 

genitive to the former word, and this may be found 
even in our times, especially when there is no govern* 
; ^1 ing word immediately following : — 

' f Latroon, Engl. Rogue, 1665, i., 53, " I should 

\ \ devote myself to her service, and nones else " 

' i I Thack., P., I., 79, "They were more in 

' 4 Pendennis's way than in anybody s else** \ 

! .1 Mark Twain, Mississ.,, 236^ ••The entire tur- 

moil had been on Lem's account and nobodfs 

:. 1 




Digitized byVjOOQlC 



But in most cases the s is tacked on to the end of j 

the whole group : — \ 

**! took somebody els^s hat** | Dick., M. Ch., 372, ( 

•' Everybody eis^s rights are my wrongs " | \ 

Thack., V. /'1, 244, •" On a day when everybody 1 

els^s countenance wore the appearance of \ 

the deepest anxiety " | Pend., i., 41 . ** Women 
are always sacrificing themselves or some- \ 

body for somebody els^s sake^ | ibid.^ 304, ( 

•* Sot9ubody els^s name " | G. Eliot, Mill^ ii., 
1 3, " Somebody else^s tradesman is in pocket 
by somebody else " | Fortn. Rev.^ Sept, 1877, 
355> " Credulity is belief in somebody elsis 
nonsense" | Ibsen, Master Builder^ tr. by i 

Gosse and Archer, 51, "Yes, who elsis \ 

daughter should I be?*' 
Instead of the last mentioned form, some people 
would perhaps prefer '• whose else " ; Dr. Murray 
told me he would say "who else's baby," but 
^ whose else" when the substantive was understood. 
In the following quotations both the pronoun and 
the adverb are inflected : — 

Dick., Chrisim. Books, 59 (Chr. Carol), "• Don't 
drop that oil upon the blankets, now'. 
' His blankets?' asked Joe. ' Whose else's 
do you thinlf?'" I Sketchley, Qeopairds 
Needle, 27 (vulg.), •• As if it was easy for any 
one to find their own needle, let alone any 
onis elses ". O 

The only adverb besides else where the same con- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


•1 t 


stniction might be expected is ever,^ but the 
genitive of whoever seems generally to be avoided. 
Mrs. Parr, however, writes (in a short story, Piter 
Trotman) : — 

'^The lovely creatures in my imagination took 

the form of the Matilda, Julia, Fanny, or 

whoevef^s image at that moment filled my 

breast *'• 

But some English friends have corroborated my 

conjecture that it would be more natural to say, /^., 

•* It doesn't matter whose ever it is," than " whoever^s,'* 

which would indeed, according to some, be impossible 

in this connexion ; and if the elements of the word 

are separated, who of course is inflected, as in Sh., 

R. Ill.f iv., 4, 224, " whose hand soe$ier ". 


284. When one word should properly govern two 
or more genitives, connected by and or some other 
ooi\)imotioa, it makes some diflerence whether the 
governing word is placed after the first or after the 
last of the genitives. 

The former was the usual word-order in O. E.» and 

1 In answer to my question 1 " It the s-geiiitive of wordt 
formed like « hotUr-cn ever used ? ** Mr. Moore Smith writes 
to me: •* It would be poed^le to say, * You*ve got the chmkir- 
ouft place,* but not *the chucker*t-out place* ((^ueker-oiU it 
tlang fo|^ man employed to turn noity people out of a meet- 
ing); <ffiit is the wkipp^-in'i chair*. Btpeciaily when the 
connexion is very close.** 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


may still be uaed, especially when two distinct objects 
are denoted, while it is rare if the same object is 
meant, as in the David Griive example below : — 
Oras.t 18, 18, ^ )^aem sciprapum ^ beod* of kuxdes 
hyde geworht & of seoUs"* \ Chron., A^ 888, 
^ Westseaxna aslmessan & /Eljrides cjming€s** 
I ibid.^ 901, "^ Butan 9iBs cyninges leafe & his 
witena*" \ Ch., L. G. W., 1086, " Be ye nat 
Vmus sone and Anchises ? " \ Thack., P., i., 
16, "^LitUe Artkuf^s figure and his mothtf^s'' 
I ibid.^ 1 59, ''The empty goblets and now use- 
less teaspoons which had served to hold and 
mix the captairis liquor and his frietuTs^ \ 
ibid.f 217, "^ Affecting Miss Costigan's honour 
and his own " | Mrs. Humphrey Ward, D. 
Grieve^ iii., 65, ** In spite of htr friendship 
and AncruiH*s ". 
235. As the arrangement of the words is analo?. 
gous to that mentioned above, § 221 (of Htrodes 
dagum 'o^m;^), we cannot wonder at finding here 
again in M. E. a dropping of the genitive ending in 
the last word, parallel to that in '' luUatus hesU the 
a$Hperur*\ Prof. Zupitza quotes the following in- 
stances in his edit of Guy of Warwick (note to L 688) : 
""kyngys d<^htur and emperown^* (-a king and 
emperor's daughter) ; ** dtwkys doghtur and trnperowre; 
for Gyes sowle and for hys wyfe " (for Guy's soul and 
for that of his wife). From more recent times I have 
noted the following passages :— 

Marl., /ncr, 278, •*How, my Lord I my mony? 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 





thine and the rest'' ( - that of the rest) | Sh.. 
Lear^ iii., 6, loi, '*//i> life with Z^Uii^, and all 
that offer to defend him*' (aand that of all) | 
L. Zr. Zr., v., 2, 514, •• Tis some policie To 
have one shew worse then the kings attdhis 
coinpanW \ Byron, iv., 214, " Thy siris 
Maker, and the earth's. And heaven's and all 
that in them is " | Troll., Duk^s Ch., i., 82, 
^ It is simply self-protection then ? His awn 
and his doss (protection of himself and of 
his class) | Tennyson, Foresters, 43, " My 
mother, for w/wse sake and the blessed Qtuen 
of heaven I reverence all women ". 
286. Very nearly akin to these cases are other 
cases of leaving out the s of the last of two or more 
genitives ; the governing word is here also under- 
stood from the first genitive ; but this is farther off 
from the genitive without s than in the previous 
examples. Accordingly, there is more danger of 
amUguity, and the construction is, therefore, now 
avoided. It is found in M. E. : — 

Ch.,i4., 590, '* His top was dokked lyk a preest 
Ufom " (like that of a p.) | Guy of Warm., 
8054, *' Hys necke he made lyke no man ". 
Al. Schmidt has collected a good many examples 
of this phenomenon from Shakespeare. He con- 
siders it, however, as a rhetorical figure rather than 
a point of grammar; thus he writes (Sh. Lex*, 
p. 1423): "Shakespeare very frequently uses the 
name of a person or thing itself for a single particular 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


quality or point of view to be considered, in a manner 
which has seduc6d great part of his editors into 
needless conjectures and emendation^". I pick out 
some of his quotations, and add a few more from my 
own collections : — 

Sh., Pi/^., 198, " Her lays were tuned like ike 
lark'' (like the lays of the lark) | IV. T., i., 
2, 169, " He makes a Julfs day short as 
Deafftber** (as a December's day) \ 2 H. VI.^ 
iv., 2, 29, '' Iniquity* s throat cut like a col/*' 
\John^ ii., 486, ** Her dowry shall weigh 
equal with a quten^' \ 2 If. VL, iiu, 2, 3i8» 
^^ Mine hair be fixed on end as one distract** 
I Cor., i., 6, 27, **! know the sound of 
MarcitU tongue from every meaner ntan** \ 
ibid., iii., 2, 1 14, ^ My throat of war be turned 
into a pipe small as an eunuch** \ Greene, 
Friar B., 3, 36, " Whence are you, sir ? of 
Suffolk ? - for your ternns are finer than the 
common sort of men** \ ibid., 12. 47, ^ Her 
beauty passing Vi9xi% paramour** } 
237. We now come to the second possible word- 
order, vin., that of placing the governing word after 
all the genitives belonging to it In most cases the 
genitive ending is added to each of the genitives: 

^ In combinations such at *' hit capacity at a judge '* we 
have a tomewhat timilar phenomenon* in to £ar at the com- 
mon cate ** a judge** it referred to the genitive '^hit**; there 
is, however, the important difference that ** a judge *' doet not 
•Und for a genitive and cannot be replaced by *^ a judge't *'• 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


1 ''She came with Tom's and John's children"; but, 

as a matter of fact, the s not unfrequently is added 
I . to the last word only, so that we have the formula 

rj. (a + b) X instead of ax -f bx. The earliest in- 

H stance I know of is that recorded by Prof. Zupitza, 

l^ Giiy, 7715, "For syr Gyt and Harrawdes sake". 

\l From more recent times : — 

'1 Malory, 37, ** It shal ht jHmr worship & the childii 

\ auailie'' | Marlowe, Tamb., 3901, ** My lard 

;^^ and husbasides death*^ \ ibid.^ 4123, '' Is not 

my life and state as deere to me. The dtie 
4*1 / and my natiue countries weale, As any thing 

\ of price with thy conceit ? " (doubtful) | Sh. 

:•; Mcb., v., 7, 16, " My wife and childrens ghosts 

, \ : will haunt me still " | R. 11^ iii^ 62, " All my 

.' treasurie . . . AaiXht your loue and labours 

\ \ recompence " | Cor.^ v., 3, 118," Thy wife and 

. :! childrens blood " | Merch., iii., 4, 30, " Vntill 

; ! her husband and my lords returne " | H, 

Vlir.^ ii., 3, 16, " Sufferance, panging As 
soule and bodies seuering" | Sonn.^ 21, *" Earth 
•t', r and seas rich gems"! Milt, 5. i4., 181, 

- From Eshtaol and Zords fruitful vale " | 
Spectator, Na 36, p. 60, " A widow gentle- 
woman, well bom both by father and 
mothtt^s side" I ''A ship and a halfs 
length" I '' An hour and a halfs talk" i 
Darwin, Life and L.^ i., 144, '' The difference 
he felt between a quarter of an hour and 
ten minute/ work " | S. Grand, Twins, 65, 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


" Till the bride and bridegroom|s return " | 
Thaclc.» y. F.t 169, "The rain drove into 
the bride and bridq^oom's Taces" | ibid.^ 
530, "One of the Prince and . Princess 
Polonicts splendid evening entertainments'* 
I "The Prince and Princess of Wales's 
pets " I G. Eliot, Mill, ii., 255, " In aunt and 
uncle Glegg's presence" | Thack., P^ i., 
242, " Mr. and Lady Poker requested 
the pleasure of Major Pendennis and Mr. 
Arthur Pendennis^ s company" | Browning, 
i., 1 18, ** To pastor andflocl^s contention " | 
T.Browris Sch., "The carpenter and wheel- 
wrighfs shop" | Waugh Tennyson, 91, **In 
Sir Theodore Martin and Professor AyUmn^s 
'Bon Gaultier Ballads'"*. 
In the following quotation the ands are left out : — 

Byron, Ch. Har., iv., 18, " And Otway, Radcliffe, 
Schiller, Shakespeare s art ". 
Examples with or and nor (in the last one we 
have both or and and) :— 

Ch., G., 812, "Cley maad with hors or mannes 
heer " (perhaps doubtful) | Sh., Cor, v., 3, 
130, *^ Nor childe nor wofnans face" | 
Byron, Maseppa, 5, " Of vassal or of knight s 
degree" | Thack., V. P., 360, "When I sec 
A, B.or IV. T*s insufficient acts of repent- 
ance" I Darwin, L. and L., ii., 41, ''In a 
year or two's time" | Mrs. Ward, R. Elsm., 
i^ 215, ** Returning for an hour or two's 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



rest " I sdid,, ii., 287, " In a week or ten dayi 
\ time" I Stedman, Qt/in/, .190, "If only an 

hour or an fwur and a halfs work is left till 
after lunch ". 
In view of all these examples, it will not be easy to 
lay down fully definite and comprehensive rules for 
determining in which cases the group genitive is 
allowable and in which the s has to be aflixed to each 
member ; the group construdtion is, of course, easiest 
when one and the same name is'common to two 
persons mentioned {Mr. and Mrs. Brown's compli- 
ments), or when the names form an inseparable group 
{Beauuumi and Fletcher^s plays ; MacmUlan & Go's 
publications). On the whole, the tendency is towards 
using the group genitive, wherever no ambiguity is 
] caused by it. 

; ' 238. With personal (i>., where the genitive case 

is spoken of, possessive pronouns) ho such group 

:V inflexion is possible; but some difficulty arises from 

!^. the difference between conjoint pronouns like my and 

absolute pronouns like mine. I give the sentences I 

have collected without any commentary : — 

I V a. — {A. R.f 406, *^ Min and mines federes luue'*) 

*r ^^ I Sh., Cor.^ v., 6, 4, " In theirs and in the 

commons eares " | Tp.^ ii., i, 253, *• In yours 

and my discharge *' | //tfiM/., v., 2, 341, 

**Mine'^ and my father's death come not 

vpon thee" | Milt., Sams:. 808, '* Mine and 

* Of course mini may here and in Ado. v^ i, 349, be the old 
coiyoint form before a vowel ; to also thine. Cor., i., 3, 35. 


\- i\ 

t \ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


love's prisoner" | Browning, iii., 36, **Msn€ 
and her souls *' | Thack., Esiiwnd, it., 144, 
" He was intended to represent y<mrs and 
her very humble servant " | Darwin, Ufi and 
L., ii., 308, " Without LycU's, yours, Hux- 
ley's, and Carpenter's aid ". 

^.—Carlyle, 5. R., 71, "To cut your and each 
other's throat " | iiid,. Heroes, 4, " Our and 
all men's sole duty " | G. Eliot, Ls/e, iii., 
112, "I enter into your and Cara's furni- 
ture-adjusting labours " I liMi^., iv., 18, ''I 
received your and your husband's valued 
letters"! iiui, 167, "I had heard of your 
and the professor's well-being " | Md., 266, 
" With a sense of your and Emily's trouble " 
I Sharp, Brotvmng, 143, "On the eve of 
her and her aunt's departure " | Hales, 
Longer E. Poetns, 289, ** One of their and 
Pope's friends ". 

c. — Carl., Heroes, 97, '• Turn diVf^y your own and 
others' face" | Thack,, P., ii., 103, "Trifle 
with your own and others' hearts " | $Ud., 
iii., 34, " I will not forget my own or her 
honour ". 

^.— Ch,, G., 1 129, •* In your purs or myn" \ Mah, 
92, " That kny^te your enemy and myn " | 
Marl^ few, gSg, •• For your sake and his 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

H i 

' I 


mme*'.\ Thack., P.^ ii., 229, "As becomes 
one oiy<mr name and my cwn '* | G. Eliot, 
Mill^ ii., 324, ^' I measured y<mr love and 
his by my own ". 

#. — Ch., if., iii.t 194, "The wille of t9u a$ul of my 
wyf I Thack., V. /^, 372, " For the ex- 
. penses of herself and her little boy " | Mrs. 
Ward, R. Elsin., ii., 297, "The shortest 
way to the pockets of you and ine '* | Hardy» 
Tess^ 411, "For the sake of ine and my 


230. Finally the genitive ending may be added to 
a relatiTe olanse. Dr. Sweet, in his New EngL Gr., 
% 1017, mentions as an exan^ple of group-inflexion, 
^the fnan I saw yestenU^s son,"* "in which the 
genitive ending is added to an indeclinable adverb, 
inflecting really the whole group, the'inan-I'Savhyes- 
terday*\ But this is generally avoided, at least in 
literary language; the only example I have met 
with in print is from the jocular undei^;raduate lan- 
guage oi Cambridge Trifles {LxmAon^ 1881)^ p. 140:— 
^ It [a brick] went into the man who keeps below 
mds saucepan ". 

In English dialects the phenomenon seems to be 
veiy widely spread; thus in Scotland (Murray, p. 

> In hit Word$^ l^ogU^ tmd Ofummoff p. 34, "M# moH I saw 
XaknU^ 0i ikdihmMt fitther'*. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


166), ^* The^mdn'M-yt-nuBt-yesterday s dowchtcr"; in 
Cheshire (Darlington, E. D. S., xxi., p. 55), " I've 
just setn/im Duiion, hifn as w€9ii to 'Merits weife^ 
m the wife of J. D., the man who went to America ; 
in Somersetshire (Elworthy, Gr., 15), "That's ike 
wotnan what was left bthifuTs child," 1^., that is the 
child belonging to the woman who was left behind. 

240. After thus passing in review all the different 
kinds of group genitives,^ it remains for us to find an 
explanation thatwill account for all the facts mentioned. 
It is obvious that the reason of our phenomenon might 

* In Danish the group genitive it of very frequent occurrence 
in nearly the same cases where it is found in English (kongen 
of banmarks magt, Adam og Evas bom, etc.)* In literary 
Swedish " kungens af Sverge makt,*' etc., is written, but the 
spoken language prefers ** kungen af Sverges makt *'• In German 
only very slight traces of the group genitive are found, even 
such names as Wolfram von Eukenback being not inflected 
collectively (**die gedichte Wolframs von Bschenbach **)• 
Still in modem family names, where the combination of voh 
and a name is not felt as indicating birth-place or estate, the $ 
is often, though not exclusively, tacked on to the latter name ; 
Steinthal, for instance, on one title-page writes : ** Die Sprach- 
wissenschaft W. v. Humboldt's und die Hegelsche Philo- 
sophie *' ; but on another, ** Die Sprachphilosophischen Werke 
Wilhelm*s von Humboldt **. According to Orimm (Lhuiscki 
Gramm.^ ii., 960) the lower classes will sometimes say ** des 
kaiser-von-Oestreich*s armee,** instead of *'des kaisers von 
Oestreich armee/' but it is ^ rare and ignoble*'. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


be sought either in the nature of the compound group, 
or in that o( the ending and its function. 

It might perhaps be urged that the phenomenon 
was due to the natural instinct taking iA€ Queen of 
England or King Henry the Eighth as one inseparable 
whole, that would allow of no case-ending separating 
its several elements. The case would then be a 
parallel to the German . treatment of those word- 
groups which, like sack und pack^ grund und boden^ 
have been fused together to the extent of making it 
impossible to inflect the former word and say, eg.y 
fnit sacke und packe or grundes und bodens ; indeed, 
we here, though very rarely, may find something 
corresponding to the English group genitive; thus, 
Wieland has " des zu Abdera gehorigen grund und 
bodens**} But an inspection of the above collected 
examples wilPshow that the explanation does not 
hold good ; for in the majority of cases we have not 
only group-compounds, but also free groups * inflected 
. like single words. This feeling of connectedness may 

* Pauly Prjitc d, Sprackg$sch,t and edit., p. a8a 
*Por the distinction tee Sweet, N. E. G.» f 440: **MAny 
word*groupt resemble, tentencet in the freedom with which 
they allow one word to be substituted for another of hke 
grammatical function, or a new word to be introduced. We 
call such word-groups /r$$ groups. Thus the free group Jor my 
$ak$ can be made into for hit take. • . • But in such groups 
at iOH'in^hWf maU'Of'War^ bruid'4md'buU$r, cup-and'Sauar^ no 
such variation is possible, the order of the elements of these 
groups being as rigidly fixed as in a compound word. We 
call such combinations ^riiw/<ofN/0ffiMit.'* 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


have gone for something in the development of 
the modem word-order where the genitive of tA€ 
Queen of England is placed before the governing 
noun, instead of the old "the Queen's crown of 
England"; and it undoubtedly plays some part in 
the cases mentioned in § 237 (A and B's); but it 
gives no satisfactory explanation of the difference 
between the plural the Queens of England and the 
genitive the Queen of England s. 

24L As the nature of the group fails to give an 
answer to our question we turn our attention to the 
ending, and the first thing that strikes us is that we 
find no trace of the group genitive with any of the 
O. E. genitive endings -a, -ra, -<i«, -/, ^re, etc (cf. § 127), 
but only with -(/>r. It is not tiP this ending has 
practically superseded all the other ways of forming 
the genitive that our phenomenon begins to make 
its appearance. In other words, the first condition 
of forming genitives of whole g^roups as if they were 
single words is that the manner of formation of 
genitives should be on the whole uniform. Where 
the genitive is formed irr^^larly, as is now only the 
case with the personal pronouns, we have had until 
the present day only rudimentary a:nd feeble attempts 
at group genitives. 

242. Now, if we were to ask : What is the reason 
of this regularity in the formation of English noun 
genitives ? then any student that is at all acquainted 
with modem linguistic theories and methods would 
be out with the answer : ** Why, it is due to analogy ; 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

\ I 



the j-ending has gradually been extended to the 
whole of the vocabulary, the analogy of 4hose nouns 
which had an >-genitive in O. £• prevailing over 
the others ". 

Very good ; the answer is obviously correct. And 
yet it is not entirely satisfactory, for it does not 
account for the difference observable in many words 
between the formation of the genitive and that of the 
plural In the latter, too,, the x-ending has been 
analogically extended in pretty much the same way 
as in the former ; but how is it that we so often see 
the irregular plural preserved, whereas the genitive 
is always regular? We have the irr^^ular plurals 
fuen, chUdren^ oxen, geese, etc., as against the regular 
genitives man's, chiUFs, o^s, gooses, etc. In the days 
of Chaucer and Shakespeare the plural and the 
genitive of most words ending in /, eg., wife and life, 
were identical, wives and lives being said in both 
cases; why has the analogy of the nom. sg. been 
more powerful in the genitive (modem xvif^s, life's) 
than in the plural ? 

The only explanation, as far as I can see, lies in 
the different function of the two endings ; if we put 
a singular word into the plural, the change affects 
this word only ; its- relation to the rest of the pro- 
position remains the same. But if, on the other 
hand, we put a word in the genitive case which was 
in the nominative, we change its syntactical relation 
completely; for the (unction of a genitive is that of 
closely connecting two words. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


248. There is yet another thing to be noted. 
The O. E. genitive had many difTerent functions; 
we may broadly compare its syntax to that of the 
Latin genitive. We find in Old Engh'sh possessive, 
partitive, objective, and descriptive genitives ; genitives 
governed by various adjectives and verbs, etc. And 
the position of the genitive is nearly as free as it is 
in Latin. But if you will take the trouble to read a 
few pages of any Old English prose book, of the 
Anglo-Saxon chronicle, of King Alfred, or of iElfric, 
you will soon observe that where the Old English 
genitive might be rendered by a genitive in Modem 
English, it nearly always precedes its noun ; where 
the word-order is different, the old genitive construc- 
tion has, in the majority of cases, been abandoned. 
It is a significant fact that the only surviving use of 
the English genitive is a prepositive one ; the word- 
order "the books my friend's" for "my friend's 
books" is, and has been for many centuries, as 
impossible in English as it is frequent in German: 
" die biicher meines freundes *\ 

244. We are now in a position to draw our con- 
clusions. The s is always wedged in between the two 
words it serves to connect ; it is, accordingly, felt as 
belonging nearly as much to the word following it 
as to the preceding one. Nay, it is now more 
important that the s should come, immediately before 
the governing word than that it should come immedi- 
ately s^ter the noun which it turns into a genitive 
case. It is now partly a suffix as of old, partly a 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


prefix ; if we were allowed to coin a new word we 
should term it an interposition, 

This peculiar development gives us the clue to the 
problems mentioned above. If the s of the genitive 
is more loosely connected with the word it belongs 
to than is the s (or other suffix) of the plural, that 
. is the reason why it tolerates no change in the body 
of the word : the old plural toives may remain ; but 
the genitive (originally wives also) must be made 
to agree with the nominative — and so it becomes 
r And we now see clearly why such groups as t/ie 

Queen of England, when put in the genitive, affix the 
s to the last word of the group, but when put in the 
plural, to the first. 

246. Let us look again at some of the above 
examples ; they will enable us to formulate the 
following three rules: — 

When the governing word follows immediately 
after the genitive, the s is never left out; 

But this is very frequently the case when the 
governing word is placed elsewhere (or is under- 
stood) ; 
^ '^ Whenever the s is taken from the word to which 

it should properly belong (according to the old 
grammar) and shifted on to some other word, this 


* In the present orthography, too, the gen. is brought nearer 
to the spelling of the nom. tg. than the nom. pi. is: gen. 
lady*$^ ekHreh% but pi. Iddiss, ekurckit ; Shakespeare and 
AdditOD would write ladi$* and churehes lor both forms. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



latter is always followed immediately by the govern- 
ing word. 
Compare, for instance : — 

(O. E.) iMM r$ttd4$ monnes 


(M. £.) Julianet hette ]?e 


(M. E.) the king$t meting 


at Smith's the 6aoiks#(/^f[*8] ... 
(Ch.) for your hatha peyne ... 
(Ch.) kinges blood of P#fSf ... 

anybody*s else 

(it does not matter wkou ever 

it is) 

(M. £.) kyngys doghtur and 


(Sh.) Her lajrs were tuned 

like the larh 

(his father it richer than the 

man's we met yesterday *) 

246. Now, let us sum up the history of the genitive 
ending s. 

In the oldest English it is a case-ending like any 
other found in flexional languages ; it forms together 
with the body of the noun one indivisible whole, in 
which it is often impossible to tell where the kernel 
of the word ends and the ending begins (compare 

' I have placed those sentences within parentheses which 
have only a theoretical interest, as neither playing nor having 
played any noticeable part in natural speech. 

(Mod.) a rtd man's blood 
(Mod.) the Emperor Julian's 

(Mod.) King Pharao's dream 
at Smith the bookuUer'% office 
for both your pains 
(Marlowe) the King of Peneas 

anybody eUe^i hat 

(whoever'i image) 

(Mod) a king and emperor's 

they were tuned like the lark*s 

(he is richer than the man we 

met yesterday's iather) - 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


endes from ende and heriges from here) \ the ending is 
only found in part of the vocabulary^.jnany other 
genitive endings being found elsewhere. 

As to syntax, the meaning and the function of these 
genitive endings are complicated and rather vague; 
and there are no fixed rules for the position of the 
genitive. in the proposition. 

In course of time we witness a gradual development 
towards greater r^^larity and precision. The parti- 
tive, objective, descriptive and some other functions 
of the genitive become obsolete; the genitive is 
^ invariably put immediately before the word or words 
it governs: irregular forms disappear, the x-ending 
only surviving as the fittest, so that at last we have 
one definite ending with one definite function and one 
definite position. If the syntactical province of the 
^ \ genitive has been narrowed in course of time, the 

loss — if such it be— has been compensated, and 
more than compensated, as far as the j-ending is 
',j concerned, by its being now the sole and absolute 

; -^ sovereign of that province ; its power is no longer 

i > limited to some masculine and neuter nouns nor to 

- :] one number only ; it rules irrespective of gender and 

\' t nun^ber. 

247. In an Old English genitive the main ('' full *') 
word and the case-forming element are mutually depen- 
dent on each other, not only in such genitives as lufe or 
sumek ivc becivc dohtor^ but also in the more regular for- 
mations in -es; one part cannot be separated from 
the other, and in the case of several words belonging 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


. \ 



together, each of them has to be put in the genitive 
case : anes reades mannes \ IxBre godlican lufe \ talra 
godra ealdra ntanna iveorc^ etc. 

In Modern English, on the other hand, the x 
is much more independent : it can be separated from 
its main word by an adverb such as else, by a preposi- 
tional clause such as of England or even by a relative 
clause such as / saw yesterday ; and one s is sufficient 
after such groups as a red $9tan or all good old inen. 
If, therefore, the definition given above of flexion 
(§ 92) be accepted, according to which its chief 
characteristic is inseparableness, it will be seen that 
the English genitive is in fact no longer a flexional 
form ; the s is rather to be compared with those 
endings in agglutinating languages like Magyar, 
which cause no change in the words they are added 
to, and which need only be put once at the end of 
groups of words (§ 31) ;* or to the empty words of 
Chinese grammar (§ 66). Our present nineteenth 
century orthography half indicates the independence 
of the element by separating it from the body of the 
preceding noun by an apostrophe; there would be 
no great harm done if the twentieth century were to 
go the whole length and write, e^.^ my father s house, 

^ Professor Vilh. Thomten, in his lectures on the Science ot 
Language some ten years agOt used to illustrate the principle 
of agglutination by a comparison with the Danish genitive 
ending <, which is in many respects analogous to the English 
ending. .. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


the Queen of England s fiower, somebody else s hat, etc.* 
Compare also Thackeray's lines {Ballads, p. 64) : — 

He lay his cloak upon a branch, 
To guarantee his Lady Blanche 
*• delicate complexion. 

It is important to notice that here historically 
attested facts show us in the most unequivocal way a 
development — not. indeed, from an originally self- 
existent word to an agglutinated suffix and finally 
to a mere flexional ending, but the exactly opposite 
development of what was an inseparable part of a 
complicated fiexional system to greater and greater 
emoMC^ation and independence. 


248. The tendency to turn the genitive ending 
into an independent word meets with, and is to a 
certain degree strengthened by, a phenomenon that 
has originally nothing to do with it ; I mean, the 
expression of a genitiTe relation by a common oase 
pins a possessive pronoon. The best known instance 
of this is •* (or Jesus Christ his sake *' in the Common 
Prayer Book. 

^ It is true that this spelling would perhaps in some cases 
suggest a false pronunciation, for photuiicaUy the ending still 
betongs to the preceding rather than to the following word, as 
Its triple pronunciation [s, a, ix, { 353] is determined by the 
final sDund of the former. 

' Digitized by LjOOQIC 


This peculiar idiom is not confined to English: 
it is extremely common in Danish, Norwegian and 
Swedish dialects, in Middle and Modem Low German, 
in High German (Goethe : ** 1st doch keine menagerie 
So bunt wie nuiner Lilt ihre r\ in Magyar, etc. 
In English the phenomenon has been noticed by 
many grammarians ; ^ and if any one wishes to see 
other or more instances than those from which I have 
tried to form an idea of the origin and character of 
the idiom, it is to their works that I must refer him. 

249. In most cases the phenomenon is a form of 
that anacoluthia which I have already had occasion 
to mention (see § 162), and which consists in the 
speaker or writer beginning his sentence without 
thinking exactly of the proper grammatical construc- 
tion of the word that first occurs to him, so that he 
is subsequently obliged to use a correcting pronoun. 
As this want of foretliought is common ever)rwhere 
and at all times, we find the grammatical irregularity 
in many languages, * and it is naturally very frequent 
when a lengthy clause is introduced : it is also often 

' Matxner, Grammatik^ iiL, 236 ; Pr. Koch, Gramm^ il, 349 ; 
Abbott, Shak, Gr.^ { 217 ; Storm, Bngl. PkiloL, 1881, 262 : 
Einenkel, Sirei/xUge^ 109, and PauKt Grundriss/u^ 909; Kellner, 
Blanch,^ xxxvi., and Hisi, Outl. of Bnf^L Syntax^ § 308 ; Pnuu, 
BngL SiudUn^ ^ii., 388. 

•One Prench example from Bourget, CruslU Bnignu^ 18: 
^^BUa qui vivaientdantunetimpiicit6 de veuves sans eap^rance, 
et qui n'auraient pour rien au monde modiM quoique ce fKkt 
k Tantique mobilier de ThMel, Uht sentiment pour Hubert 
leur avait soudain r^616 le luxe et le comfort modeme **• 

Digitized by vLjOOQIC 


resorted to where a foreign name is introduced that 
does not conform to the native declensions. 
The possessive pronoun is often, for some reason or 
^ other, separated from its antecedent : — 

il. ^., 82/'^^/swuch fulSe speteS ut in eni 
ancre eare me schulde dutten kis muC | 
Ch., L. G. IV., 2180, " TAise false lovers, 
poison be Air bane \*^ \ M. P., v., 99, 
] ** The wery hunter, sleping in his bed, To 

wode again his mynde goth anon ^ | Sh., 
; R. III., iii., 2, 58, and Wini. T., iii., a, 98, 

J . , quoted in % 162 | R. III., u, 4,217, "Alas ! 

for whose sake did I that ill deed? For 
Edward, for my brother, for his sake."* 
L But we are here chiefly concerned with those cases 

in which the possessive pronoun followed immediately 
*l on its antecedent :— 

'\ Oros., S,**Asia & Europe hiera landgemircu togaedre 

\ licgaC • . . Affrica d'i^JMiA^a landgemircu 

onginnaC of Alexandria" ; ibid., 12, *' Nilus 

^ seoia hire aewielme is neh )>aem clife )>aere 

Readan Sacs" | Malory, 126, ''This lord of 

this castel his name is syr Damas, and he is 

V the falsest knyght that lyucth" | Sh., Tp., v., 

I, 268, '* This mishapen hnaue, his mother 

was a witch " | Scott, Lay 0/ the Last Minst., 

i., 7, " But he, the chieftain of them all, His 

/;: sword hangs rusting.on the wall " | Rossetti, 

Poet. W., 164, "For every man on Gods 

ground^ O King, His death grows up from 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 

■t » 


his birth " | Tennyson, 616, " TA^ great tra- 

' gedioH^ that had quenched herself In that 

assumption of the bridesmaid, she that loved 

me, our true Edith^ her brain broke with 

over acting **. ' 

Ch., M., iiL, 145, ''For sothly he that precheth to 

hetn thattiste not to heere his wordes^ his ser- 

mounhemanoyeth** | Num., xvii., 5 (Revised 

Version), *" It shall come to pass, that the 

fnan whom I shall choose^ his rod shall 

bud" (Auth, Vers. . . . "that the man's 

rod whom I shall choose, shall blossom *')• 

The similarity between this sentence f«t>m the 

Revised Version and ^'the man I saw yesterday's 

father" is conspicuous. 

250. There are, however, other sources from which 
this genitive construction by means of possessive 
pronouns may arise. First I shall mention what 
Einenkel thinks the sole origin of it, vis.^ the con- 
struction after some verbs meaning to take or rob^ 
where a dative + a possessive pronoun very nearly 
amounts to the same thing as a gen.^ as will be seen 
in the following instances :— 

i4. i?., 286,. *']>et tu wult . . • reauen God his 
strencSe " | ibid^ 300, " Schrift reaueV )>e 

>A cttriout example with the pronoun of the first person is 

Sh., T/., L, s, X09, ^ M$ {poon man)my Librarie wa» dukedome 

large enough ** ; if we do not here take im# as a dative « to in#, 

we have something like an apology for the missing geniti\*e 

of ** / poor tmm^** c£ { sas. 


Digitized byVjOOQl^ 


ueonde his lond •* | Malory, i lo, " Syr Tor 
alyghte and toke the dwarf hU glayue *\ 
But even if we include in this rule other verbs of a 
kindred nature, as in : — 

A. S. Chron.^ A,, 797, "^Her Romane Leone 
jHmnpqfiam his tungon forcurfon & his eagan 
the instances of this particular construction are not 
numerous enough to account for the frequency of the 
iiix-genitive. Language is here, as elsewhere, too 
complex for us to content ourselves with discovering 
the source of one of the brooklets that go to forming 
a big river. Looking round for other sources we see 
that other verbs as well as ** rob," etc, may be followed 
by a dative + his^ nearly equivalent to a genitive {ic 
ask a man his pardon is nearly equivalent to asking a 
$aam*s pardon) ; compare also the following examples, 
in none of which a substitution of a genitive for the 
dative «f the possessive pronoun would involve a 
change in the meaning : — 

. A. 1?., 84, ** He mid his fikelunge & mid his 
preisunge heleC & wrihC tnon his sunne '* (he 
with his flattery and with his praise con- 
cealeth and covereth from man (for a man) 
his sin «■ conceals a man's sin) | Byron, 
v., 260 {Sardanap., iv., i), ''and there at 
all events secure My nephews and your sons 
their lives " | Hughes, Tom Br., 5, •• There is 
enoMgh of interest and beauty to last any 
rmsonabie mam his life** | Tennyson, 372, 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


** MerUn . . • had built fAe king his havens, 

ships, and halls "• 
26L In yet other instances it is a nominative that 
combines with his to form our quasi-genitive. When 
we read in Chaucer manuscripts, for instance : — 

** Heer beginnith the Chanouns yeman his tale^ 
Prof. Skeat finds it necessary to warn us: ''The 
rubric means, ' Here the Ca$unis Yeoman begins his 
tale '. The word tale is not to be taken as a nomina- 
tive case/' But it will be observed that it does not 
matter much for the understanding of the phrase as 
a whole whether we take it as a noipinative or an 
accusative ; Prof. Skeat may be right in thinking that 
in these rubrics begin was originally a transitive verb ; 
but as in most other mediaeval rubrics begin was taken 
intransitively (the subject being the title of the book), 
an analogous interpretation would naturally present 
itself in instances like the above, and then yeman his 
would be the equivalent of a genitive before iaii. 
That some, at least, of the old scribes were not of 
Prof. Skeat's opinion, appears from the rubric found 
in MS. Arch. Seld., B, 114: — 

** Here endith the man of lawe his tale. And 

next folwith the shipman his prolog.'* 
For it is here out of the question to construe, '' And 
next the shipman follows his prologue ;" this, then, is 
undoubtedly an instance of the ^-genitive. 

262. Sprung as it is, then, from various sources, 
this makeshift genitive now converges with and meets 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


\ - 

\] the originally totally different interpositional de- 

\\ scendant from the old flexional x-genitive, so that the 

^^ two formations become often practically indistinguish- 

% • able. ^ The similarity is of a purely phonetic nature ; 

•^ Ais would, of course, be pronounced with weak stress, 

and in unstressed words in the middle of a sentence 

k is scarcely if at all audible (as in the rapid pro- 

. I nundation of " he took /lis hat,*' etc. ; compare also 

i] ii for older hit^ and V for has). Thus, J}e bissop his 

\\\' broJ>er^ etc., in the B-text of Layamon, may be only 

; }j another way of writing bisscpis or bissopes. * 

\ • 258. When, in the fifteenth century or so, most of 

. \ the weak £% disappeared in pronunciation, the geni- 

'^ ; tive ending -^ [-iz] was differentiated into the three 

forms which it still has : — 

[s] after voiceless sounds (bishop's) ; 
[z] after voiced sounds (king's), and 
[iz] after hisses (prince's). 

But the same change happened with the possessive 
pronoun, as will be seen very frequently in Shake- 
speare: — 
' { AWs^ ii., 2, ID, ''Put offs cap, kiss his hand*^ | Car^ 

(V ii., 2, i6o, "May they /^rwi^j intent" I 

ibid.. iL,.3, i6o, "^ Ats heart" | lyi.^'Fof's 

> Compare such accidental convergingt of not-related words 
>'' I as that of sorrow and wrry^ % 87. 

'Perhaps we have V$nnt kis written for VsHusit in Ch., M. 
! "/ Pt 4, 31, ** The thridde hevenes lord (Mars) • ; . hath wonne 

. ' Venus his love'*'; or is Ais lov»«**hi8 beloved one»** in apposi- 

tion to Venus ? 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


countrey** | v., 3, 159, •• To*s mother" | 
Meas,, L, 4, 74, ••/w'j execution/* etc | | 
Marlowe, /ew^ 1651, **ot^s nose" (cf. A. 
Wagner's note to his edit, of the same play, 

Compare the treatment of the verbal form is: tSuifs^ 
thif^s^ this is. In Eh'zabethan English, // was treated 
similarly. I sawU^ fof^t^ doU^ uparit^ don^t^ etc. So 
also us (comp. mod. Uts) : ufon^s^ amon^s^ upbraidTs^ 
behoUFs^ etc. 

254. Here I add a few examples of the his- 
genitive from Chaucer down to the vulgar speech or 
burlesque style of our days : — 

Ch^Z. (7. W.,2i9i^*'Mars his venim is adoun" | 
Sh.9 HamL^ ii., 2, 5 12, ^Neuer did the Cyclop 
hammers fall On Mars his armours '* | Tw. 
N., iii., 3, 26, *' 'Gainst the CoufU his gallies'' | 
2 H. IV., ii., 4, 308, •* Art not thou Poines his 
brother?" | L. L. Z., v., 2, 528, "A man of 
God his making" (folio: God*s) | Thack., 
Pend., ii., 6 (a ^ housekeeper says), " In 
George the First his time" | Gilbert, Bab 
BaU., 36, '^ Seven years I wandered^Pata- 
gonia, China, Norway, Till at last I 
sank exhausted At a pastrycooh his door- 
way "• 
266« To the popular feeling the two genitives were 
then identical, or nearly so : and as people could not 
take the fuller form as originating in the shorter one, 
they would naturally suppose the J to be a shortening 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


otkis; this is accordingly a view that we often find 
either adopted or contested, as will appear from the 
following quotations, which might easily be aug* 
mented : — 

Hume, Otikographie, 1617, ^* by Wheatley, p. 
29, " This s sum haldes to be a segment oi 
his, and therfoer now almost al wrytes his 
for it as if it were a corruption. But it is 
not a s^ment of his : i. because his is the 
masculin gender, and this may be foemintn ; 
as, A mother's love is tender; 2. because 
his is onelie singular, and this may be 
plural ; as, al men's vcrtues are not 
Maittaire, Eng. Gr., 171 2, p. 28, '^The geni- 
tive ... is expressed by -s at the end of the 
word : as, the childrens bread, the daughters 
husband^ its glory. The s, if it stands for 
his^ may be marked by an apostrophus : eg., 
for Christ's sake : and sometimes his is 
^ spoken and written at length, /^.,y&r Christ 

Addison, Spea., No. 135, "The same single 
letter [s] on many occasions does the oflSce 
of a whole, word, and represents the his and 
her of our forefathers. There is no. doubt 
but the ear of a foreigner, which is the best 
judge in this case, would very much dis- 
approve of such innovations, which indeed 
we do ourselves in some measure, by retain- 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


tng the old termination in writing, and in all 
the solemn offices of our religion." ^ 
Enquire Within, 1885, { 208, "The apos- 
trophe is used to indicate the combining of 
two words in one, as Johtis book^ instead of 
In its struggle for an independent existence, the 
j-interposition seemed likely to derive great assist- 
ance from the concurrence of the Aix-construction. 
But the coincidence was not to last long. On the 
one hand, the contraction of the weak his seems to 
have been soon given up, the vowel being reintro- 
duced from the fully stmsed form, even where the h 
was dropped {fu took *is hoi) ; on the other hand, the 
limited signification of the possessive pronoun coun- 
teracted the complete fusion which would undoubtedly 
have taken place, if his had been common to all 
genders and to both numbers, instead of being con- 
fined to the masc. (and in former centuries the neuter) 
8g. A formation like *" Pallas her glass " (quoted by 
Abbott from Bacon) does not fit in with the rest of 
the system of the language, and *" Pallas his glass ** 
would jar upon English ears because his is too much 
felt as a pronoun denoting sex. 

> This remark of Addison's gives us the clue to the retention 
of **for jesus Christ his sake" in the Prayer Book; it b no 
doubt the old syllabic ending Chr%$U$ remained unaltered 
after the $ had generally, become silent, on account of the 
accustomed rhythmic enunciation ; a better way of spelling it 
would therefore be Ckritik as in bUtM^ etc 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 




256. GOETHK, in his DiclUung und Wahrheit, re- 
lates how in Strasburg he was in constant intercourse 
with Herder at the time when the latter was engaged 
in writing his prize essay for the Berlin Academy on 
the origin of language ; and how he read the manu- 
script, although, as he confesses himself, he was very 
little prepared to deal with that subject ; *' I had/' he 
says, ^ never bestowed much thought on that kind of 
thing; I Was still too much engrossed by present 
things (zu sehr in der mitte der dinge befangen) to 
think about their banning or end "• 

If it is not presuming too much to compare oneself 
with Goethe, even in so small « matter, and one, 
moreover, of so n^ative a character, I must confess 
that I too, like Goethe, have given most study to 
languages as they are now-a-days, to the '* middle '^ of 
languages ; the earlier stages I have studied mainly, 
if not exclusively, in so far as they are capable of 
throwing light upon the languages which are still 
living: I have therefore only an imperfect and spora* 



by Google 


die knowledge of the vast literature which deals with 
the origin of speech ; and the impressions left by 
occasionally reading some book or short paper on the 
subject have not encouraged me to master that litera- 
ture more systematically. Under these circumstances 1 
felt greatly relieved to come across the following ver- 
dict of Whitney's: ""No theme in linguistic science is* 
more often and more voluminously treated than this, 
and by scholars of every grade and tendency ; nor 
any, it may be added, with less profitable result in 
proportion to the labour expended ; the greater part 
of what is said and written upon it is mere windy 
talk, the assertion of subjective views which com- 
mend themselves to no mind save the one that pro- 
duces them, and which are apt to be offered with a^ 
confidence, and defended with a tenacity, that are in 
inverse ratio to their acceptableness. This has given 
the whole question a bad repute among sober-minded 

257. Although I look upon all previous attempts 
to penetrate the secret with very much the same 
feelings as those of the fox in the fable, when he 
noticed that all the traces led into the den, and not a 
single one came out, I shall ask my readers to join 
me in casting a rapid glance at those theories which 
have hitherto been most generally accepted as con- 
taining the clue of our problem. In mentioning them 
I shall make use of those nicknames by which they 

' OrUiUml Mnd Lingui^ie Studiss, i«, 279. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 


are familiar to readers of the discussion between Max 

MUlIer and Whitney, 

First comes the old b&w-winv theory: Primitive 

~ words were imitative of sounds ; man copied the 

^ barking of dogs and thereby obtained a natural word 

with the meaning of •• dog " or •• bark ". 

The next theory is the ding-dong or ''nativistic*' 
theory : according to this there is a somewhat mystic 
harmony between sound and sense ; ** there is a law 
which runs through nearly the whole* of nature, that 
everything which is struck rings. Each substance 
has its peculiar ring. Gold rings differently from tin, 
wood rings differently from stone ; and diflferent 
i sounds are produced according to the nature of each 

I percussion. It was the same with man." Language 

', is the result of an instinct, a " faculty peculiar to man 

in his primitive state, by which every impression from 
without received its vocal expression from within**. 
\ But this * creative faculty which gave to each concep- 

tion as it thrilled for the first time through tht brain 
'^ I a phonetic expression, became extinct when its object 

! was fulfilled ** (Max Miiller, who has, however, aban- 

doned this theory). 
\\ The pooh-poob theory derives language from inter- 

im jections, instinctive ejaculations called forth by pain 
or other intense sensations or feelings. 
The fourth and last of these theories is ^tyo-hi-ho, 
' \ first propounded by Noir^,^ and subsequently adopted 

. ! * Although Herbart teems to have had limilar thoughts: 

^Die natorlaute oder sufUligefi losaerungen bei gelegenheit 

Digitized by LjOOQIC * 


by Max MUller : under any strong muscular eflTort it 
is a relief to the system to let breath come out 
strongly and repeatedly, and by that process to let 
the vocal chords vibrate in different ways; when 
primitive acts were performed in common, they would, 
therefore, it is said, naturally be accompanied with 
sonie sounds which would come to be associated with 
the idea of the act performed, and stand as a name ! 

for it ; the first words would accordingly mean some- ji 

thing like " heave - or " haul •*. 1 j 

258. Now, these theories — ^which, by the way, it is | 

rather difficult to represent with perfect impartiality 
in a few lines — denounce and combat each other; j 

' thus Noir^ and Geiger, in their explanation of the 
origin of speech, think it perfectly possible to do I 

entirely without sound imitation, or onomatopoeia. 
And yet what would prevent our uniting these ] 

several theories and using them concurrently? It i 

would seem to matter not so very much whether the 
first word uttered by man was bow-wcw ot pooh-pooh, . ' 

for the fact remains that he has said both one and |j 

the other. Each one of the theories — save, perhaps, * 

the ding-dong^ which is hardly anything but a rather ^ 

misty variation of the interjectional theory — is able to I 

explain parts of language^ but still only parts, and not \ 

even the -most important parts— the main body of ^ 

language they hardly seem even to touch. \ 

det gemeimamen handelnt reproducirtcn tich bei jedem in | 

wiederkehrender la^," quoted by Marty, VUrtslJahrssch./. wiss. ; | 

pHilo$ophi€^ xiv., 71. . \\ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


To all the theories, that of Noir^ only excepted, it 
may further be objected that they are too individual ; 
they do not touch language as a means of human 
~ intercourse ; as EHis puts it, ^ The Pooh-pooh I the 
Bow-wow ! and the Ding-dong ! theories might serve 
for Robinson Crusoe. With Man Friday would begin 
real language — attempted and partially eflectcd inter- 
change of thought by mouth and ear *'} Moreover, 
they all tacitly assume that up to the creation of 
3 language man had remained mute or silent ; but this 

1; is most improbable from a physiological point of 

|-' view. As a rule we do not find an organ already 

r ' perrected on the first occasion of its use ; an organ is 

^ only developed by use. 

1259. As to the batihivaw theory in particular, it is 
in the first place rather an unlucky hit that the dog*s 
• cry should have been chosen of all others ; for natu- 
4 ralists maintain that dogs did not learn to bark till 

j arter their domestication (one might perhaps wish that 

j they had not learned then !). But apart from this — 

;! and we might of course just as well some other 

j animal's cry to name the theory after ; there is abun- 

1 dance of choice— it still seems rather absurd, as re- 

\ marked by Renan, to set up this chronological 

] sequence : first the lower animals are original enough 

I to cry and roar; and then comes man, making a 

language for himself by imitating his inferiors. 
I To the advocates of \ht pooh-pooh theory it must be 

M objected that they do not go deep enough when they 

'{ '^ TnnsMiions of the PkiM. Soe.^ 1873-749 p« id. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



take interjections for granted, without asking where 
they originate. This is a question which philolc^sts 
have entirely disregarded; but natural science has 
offered an explanation of at least some of our inter- 
jections. In Darwin's interesting work on The Ex- 
pression of the Emotions^ which it is not to the credit 
of the science of language to have overlooked, purely 
physiological reasons are given for the feeling of con- 
tempt or disgust being accompanied by a tendency 
^ to blow out of the mouth or nostrils, and this pro- 
duces sounds \\Vitpooh or pish^\ And Darwin goes 
on to say : ** When any one is startled or suddenly 
astonished, there is an instantaneous tendency, like- 
wise from an intelligible cause, namely, to be ready 
for prolonged exertion, to open the mouth widely, so 
as to draw a deep and rapid inspiration. When the 
next full expiration follows, the mouth is slightly 
closed, and the lips, from causes hereafter to be dis- 
cussed, are somewhat protruded ; and this form of 
the mouth, if the voice be at all exerted, produces, 
according to Helmholtz, the sound of the vowel O. 
Certainly a deep sound of a prolonged Ok I may be 
heard from a whole crowd of people immediately after 
witnessing any astonishing spectacle. If, together 
with surprise, pain be felt, there is a tendency to con- 
tract all the muscles of the body, including those of 
the face, and the lips will then be drawn back ; and 
this will perhaps account for the sound becoming 
higher and assuming the character of Ah I or Ach I " 
260* It is a common feature of all previous attempts 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



at solving the question that the investigator has con- 
jured up in his imagination a primitive era, and then 
asked himself: How would it be possible for men or 
manlike beings, who have hitherto been unable to 
speak, to acquire speech as a means of communication 
\ of thought? Not only is this method followed, so to 

speak, instinctively by everybody, but we are even 
positively told (by Marty) that it is the only method 
possible. In direct opposition to^this assertion I 
should like to advance the view that it is chiefly and 
principally due to this method and to this manner of 
\ 9 putting the question that the result of all attempts to 

solve the problem has been so very small. Linguistic 
philosophers have acted very much as the German 
did in the well-known story, who set about constructing 
\ the camel out of the depths of his inner consciousness. 

\ Hegel began his philosophy with pure non-existence, 

I and thence took a clean jump to pure existence ; and 

\ our philosophers make the same jump with regard to 

I language. But jumps are dangerous if you have no 

' \ firm ground to take oflf from I 

\ If we are to hav'e any hope of success in our investi- 

\ \ gation, we must therefore look out for new methods 

-' \ . and new ways; and there are, as far as I can see, only 

' r two ways which lead us to where we may expect to 

. t see new views opened before us over the world of 

( primitive language. 

;i f 26L One of these has its starting-point in the 

^ / language of children. On a great many points biolo- 
gists have utilised the discoveiy that the development 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


of the individual follows on the whole the same course 
as that of the race ; the embryo, before it arrives at 
full maturity, will have passed through essentially the 
same stages of development which in countless gene- 
rations have led the whole species to its present level. 
Would it then be surprising if the course of develop- 
ment by mankind at large of the faculty of speech 
and the mental conceptions therein implied should be 
humbly mirrored to us in the process by which any 
child learns to use its vocal organs to communicate 
its thoughts? 

This idea has obviously been present, more or less 
consciously, to many; and children's language has 
often been invoked to furnish illustrations and par- 
allels of the process gone through in the formation of 
primitive language. But I cannot help thinking that 
philologists have generally been guilty of an erroneous 
inference in applying this principle; inasmuch as 
they have taken -all their examples from a child's 
acquisition of an already existing language. ~ The 
fallacy will be evident if we suppose for a moment 
some one endeavouring to imagine the evolution of 
music from the manner in which a child is now-a-days 
taught to play on the piano. Manifestly the modem 
learner is in quite a different position to primitive 
man, and has quite a different task set to him : he has 
an instrument ready to hand, and melodies already 
composed for him, and finally a teacher who under- 
stands how to draw these tunes forth from the instru- 
ment It is just the same thing with language: the 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


task of the child is to learn an existing language, that 
:\ isy to connect certain sounds heard -from the mouths 

r! of its fellow-creatures with the same ideas which' the 

\\ " speakers associate with them, but not in the least to 

|j frame anything new. No; if we are seeking some 

f. parallel to the primitive acquisition of language, we 

ft must look elsewhere and go to baby language as it is 

][i spoken in the first year of life, before the child has as 

h yet b^un to ''notice" and to make out what use 

|. is made of language by grown-up people. Here, in 

\ the child's first purposeless murmuring, crowing, and 

i f babbling, we have real nature sounds ; here we may 

I expect to find some clue to the infancy of the 

I language of the race. 

^ 262. The second way hinted at above is likely to 

I • yield more important results; it is exactly the oppo- 

I site of that followed by the propounders of the usual 

theories. They make straight for the iront of the 
lion*s den ; we have seen that this is fruitless {vestigia 
Urrent /) and we will therefore try and steal into th<* 
den from behind. They think it logically correct, 
nay necessary, to bq;in from the beginning; let us, 
for variety's sake, b^n from the '' middle " of things, 
from languages as accessible at the present day, and 
let us attempt from that starting-point step by step 
to trace the backward path. Perhaps in this way we 
may reach the very first beginnings of speech. 

The method I recommend is, in other words, to 
trace our modem nineteenth-century languages as far 
back in time as history and our materials will allow 

Digitized byVjOOQll^ 


US ; and then, from this comparison of present English 
with Old English or Anglo-Saxon, of Danish with 
Old Norse, and of both with ^ G>mmon Germanic/* 
of French and Italian with Latin, of Modem Persian 
with Zend, of modem Indian dialects with Sanskrit, 
etc., to deduce definite laws for the development of 
languages in general, and to try and find a system 
of lines which can be lengthened backwards beyond 
the reach of history. If we should succeed in dis- 
covering certain qualities to be generally typical of 
the earlier as opposed to the later stages of languages,^ 
we shall be justified in concluding that the same 
qualities obtained in a still higher degree in the be- 
ginning of all; if we are able within the historical 
era to demonstrate a definite direction of linguistic 
evolution, we must be allowed to infer that the direc- 
tion was the same even in those primeval periods for 
which we "have no documents to guide us. But if 
the change witnessed in the evolution of modern 
speech out of older forms of speech is thus on a 
larger scale projected back into the childhood of 
mankind, and if by this process we arrive finally at 
uttered sounds of such a description that we cannot 
help thinking that this is no longer a real language, 
but something antecedent to language — why, then 
the problem will have been solved ; for transformation 
is something we can understand, while a creation out 

Un some instances we may also take the languages of 
contemporary savages as typical of more primitive languages 
than those of civilised nations. 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


of nothing can never be comprehended by human 
understanding; it can at best be left to stand as a 
religious postulate, as a miracle or a crux. 

This, then, will be the object of the following rapid 
sketch: to search the several departments of the 
science of language for general laws of evolution — 
most of them have already' been indicated and 
discussed at some length in the opening chapters of 
this volume — then to magnify the changes observed^ 
and thus to form a picture of the outer and inner 
structure of some sort of speech more primitive than 
the most primitive language accessible to direct 


263. First, as regards the purely phonetic side of 
language, wc observe ever ywhere the tend ency to 
m ake pron unciation mpre.easy, so as to..lessen . the 
muscular effort ; difficult combinations of sounds are 
discarded, those only being retained which are pro- 
nounced with ease. In most languages therefore 
only such sounds are used as are^produced by expira- 
tion, while inbreathed sounds and ** clicks '' or suction-.^ 
stops are not found in connected speech. In civilised 
languages we meet with such sounds only in inter- 
jections, as when an inbreathed voiceless / (generally 
with rhythmic variations of the strength of breathing 
and corresponding small movements of the tongue) is 
used to express enjoyment, especially the enjoyment 
caused by eating and drinking, or when a click formed 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


with the tip of the tongue (generally^ but rather 
inadequately spelled iut in our alphabet, which is not 
at all adapted to the writing of such sounds) is used 
to express impatience ; in drivers* shouts to their , 
horses some other clicks occur. In some very 
primitive South-Arrican languages, on the other hand» 
these and similar sounds are found as integral portions 
of words ; and Bleek's researches render it probable 
that in former stages of these languages they were in 
more extensive use than now. We may perhaps 
draw the conclusion that primitive languages in 
general were extremely rich in all such difficult 

264. Of much more far-reaching consequence is 
the following point In some languages we find a 
gradual disappearance of difTerences of musical accent 
(or pitch) ; this has been the case in Danish, whereas 
Norw^an and Swedish have kept the old tones ; 
so also in Russian as compared with Servo-Croatian. 
With regard to the tones in use in most early languages 
it is extremely difficult to state anything with certainty, 
as written documents scarcely ever indicate such 
things; still, we are fortunate enough in the works 
of old Indian, Greek and Latin grammarians to have 
express statements to the effect that pitch accents 
played a prominent part in those languages, and that 
the intervals used must have been comparatively 
greater than is usual in our modem languages. No 
doubt the same thing may be asserted with r^^rd 
to languages spoken now-a-days by savage tribes. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


though here too our materials are very scanty, as 
most of the writers who have made a first-hand study 
of such languages have not had the necessary quali- 
fications for undertaking this kind of investigation ; 
nor can this astonish us, seeing how imperfectly tonic 
accents have been hitherto studied even in the best- 
known European languages. Here and there, how- 
ever, we come across some information about peculiar 
tonic accents, as, for instance, in the case of some 
African languages. ^ 

265. So much for word-tones; now for the sen- 
tence melody. It is a well-known fact that the 
modulation of sentences is strongly influenced by the 
effect of intense emotions in causing stronger and 
more rapid raisings and sinkings of the voice. I 
may here refer to the excellent introduction to Her- 
bert Spencer's essay on TAe Origin and Function 
of Music^ where the illustrious author examines the 

> It may not be superfluous expressly to point out that there 
is no contradiction between what is said here on the dis* 
appearance of tones and the remarks made above (§ 69) on 
Chinese tones. There we had to deal with a change wrought 
in the meaning of a word by a mere change of its tone ; this 
was explained on the principle that the difference of meaning 
was at an earlier stage expressed by suffixes, etc., the tone 
that is now concentrated on one syllable belonging formerly 
to two syllables or perhaps more. But this evidently pre- 
supposes that each syllable had already some tone of its own 
—and this b what in this chapter is taken to be the primitive 
state. Word*tones were originally frequent, but meaningless; 
afterwards they were dropped in some languages, while in 
others they were utilised for sense*distinguishing purposes. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


influence of the Teelings on the loudness, quality or 
timbre^ pitch, intervals, and rate of variation of the 
sounds uttered. ** The utterances grow louder as the 
sensations or emotions, Whether pleasurable or painful, 
grow^strohgcr.'.TT'The" sounds of common convcr- 
sation have but little resonance; those of strong 
feeli ng have m uch more. Under rising ill-temper the 
voice acquires a metallic ring. . • . Grief, unburdening 
itself, uses tones approaching in timbre to those of 
chSntlngX and in his most pathetic passages an 
eloquent speaker similarly falls into tones more 
vib ratory than . those common to him. . . . While 
indifference or calmness will use the medium tones, 
the tones used during excitement will be cither above 
or below them ; and will rise higher and higher, or 
fall lower and lower, as the feelings grow strong^er. ... 1 
Extren ie joy an d fear are alike accompanied by shrill I 
outcries. • . . While calm speech is comparatively 
monotonous, emotion makes use of fifths, octaves, and - I 
even wider intervals. . • . The remaining character- 
istic of emotional speech which we have to notice is \ 
that of variability of pitch. ... On a meeting of | 
friends, for instance — as when there arrives a party of | 
much-wished-for visitors — the voices of all will be j 
heard to undergo changes of pitch not only greater j 
but much more numerous than usual/* * 

> Cf. also Carlyle, Hiroa^ Lect 3, p. 78 : ** Observe too how 
all passionate language does of itself become musical, — ^with a 
finer music than the mere accent ; the speech of a man even 
in sealous anger becomes a chant, a song ...**. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



266. Now, it is a consequence of advancing 
civilisation that passion, or, at least, the expression of 
passion, is moderated, and we must therefore conclude 
that the speech of uncivilised and primitive men was 
more passionately agitated than ours, more like music 
or song. And this conclusion is borne out by what 
we hear about the speech of many savages in our 
own days. I shall quote a few passages' showing 
this : — 

"At Huaheine (Tahiti) several people had the 
habit of pronouncing whatever they spoke in a very 
singing manner ** (Forster). " At the Friendly Islands, 
the singing tone of voice, in common conversation, 
was irequent, especially among the women** (ibid.). 
The Bhils, one of the hill tribes of India, "speak in 
adrawling sort of recitative*' (Heber). "The language 
spoken by the inhabitants of the mountainous regions 
of the river Dibing, east of the Abor country . . . 
is distinguished by its very peculiar tones, and some 
of its consonants are extremely difficult of enqhcia- 
tion ** (Richardson). ^ The speech of this nation (the 
Abipones of South America) is very much modulated 
and resembles singing." The East African's language 
is ** highly artificial and musical ** (Burton). 

> Taken from H. Spencer** Dturiptive SocMof^. I should 
not give that work a« an authority on linguistic facts in general, 
but here I may be allowed to use its convenient tabula- 
tions, as the question is not one of observing or interpreting 
giammatica] fticts, but only of the general impression which 
the speech of savages left on the ear of European trai'ellers. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



These facts and considerations all seem to point 
to the conclusion that there once was a time when 
all speech was song, or rather when these two actions 
were not yet differentiated ; but I do not think that 
this inference can be established inductively at the 
present stage of linguistic science with the same 
amount of certainty as the statements I am now 
going to put forth as to the nature of primitive [ 

speech. * 

267. Linguistic evolution seems constantly to 
display a tendency to shorten words. Besides the ^ 

shortening processes shown in such instances as cab ^ 

for cabriolet and bus for omnibus (above, § 47), and \ 

haplologies, by which one of two succeeding similar 4 

sounds or sound-groups is discarded as in the .. 

pronunciation [wusto] for Worcester^ in England for \ 

Englaland^ in simply for simplify, in the familiar or I 

vulgar pronunciations of library, February^ probably, : 

literary^ mama as [laibri, Febri, probli, litri, ma*], etc., . ^ 

in Latin nutrix for nutritrix, stipendium for siipipen- 
dium, tuli for tetuli, etc., in French controU for centre- \ 

rile, idoUUre for idololAtre, Neuville for Niuveville, 
colloquial [tala^r] for tout d theure^ in Italian cosa 
for che cosa^ qualcosa for qualchecosa, etc, etc,' 
and finally shortenings by subtraction, such as pea ; 

for pease, adder for nadder (§ 50) ; besides these more 
sporadically-occurring processes we find that a great !. 

many of the constant phonetic changes of every v, 

'^ See my remarks on this phenomenon, Nord^ Tidstkrift /• \' 

PUoL, n. r. vii., 316, and ix., 333. '^ |. 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


language result in the shortening of words : vowels 

in weak syllables are pronounced more and more 

_ indistinctly and finally disappear altogether ; final 

consonants are dropped (as is perhaps best seen by a * 

comparison of the pronunciation and the spelling of 

Modem French : the spelling will be found to retain a 

great many sounds which were formerly pronounced) ; 

initial consonants are often as unstable (see, for 

j instance, Engl, kn, gti and wr, where^the k.g and w 

i were formerly sounded), and in the middle of words 

j assimilation and other causes lead to similar results* 

! ' Every student of historical linguistics is familiar with 

numerous examples of seemingly violent contractions^ 

which have really been wrought by regular and 

: ^ gradual changes continued through centuries : hrd^ 

I With its three or four sounds, was formerly Ait/^r^, and 

^ . in Old English hlaford; nay, the Old Germanic form 

! of the same word contained indubitably as many as 

twelve sounds ; Latin augustus has in French through 

Oioust become aoAU which now consists only of two 

sounds [au], or, in a very widely spread pronunciation, of 

only one sound [u] ; Latin oculus (oaUum) has shrunk 

•' into four sounds in Italian occkw, three in Spanish ojo^ 

and two in French neiL These are everyday occur- 

'; ^.^x^.rcnccs, while lengthenings of words (as in English 

1 4."^ o\ ' ^<^^ fi^>n ^^* ^^^t ^* £• ^^^^ S0um) are extremely rare* 

y^'^ The ancient languages of our family, Sanskrit, Zend, 

etc, abound in very long words; the further back we 

^ go^ the greater the number of sesquipedalia. This fact 

inspires us with distrust of the current theory, accord- 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 


tng to which every language started with monosyllabic 
roots ; even the rare agreement on this point of two 
otherwise such fierce opponents as Professors Max 
Muller and Whitney cannot make us accept the 
theory ; and the bull of excommunication issued by 
the latter^ must not deter us from the heresy of 
saying: If the development of language took the 
same course in pre-historic as in historic times— and 
there is no reason to doubt it — then we must imagine 
primitive language as consisting (chiefly at least) of 
very long words, containing many difficult sounds, 
and sung rather than spoken. 


268* Can anything be stated about the grammar 
of primitive language? Yes, I think so, if we continue 
backwards into the past the lines of evolution resulting 
from the investigations contained in the preceding 
chapters. Ancient languages have several forms 
where modem languages content themselves with 
fewer; forms originally kept distinct are in course of 
time confused, either through a phonetic obliteration 
of diflerences in the endings, or through analogical 
extension of the functional sphere of one form ; the 
single form goiod is now used where O. E. used the 

^ '* The historically traceable beginnings of speech were 
simple roots ... he who does not make that theory the basis 
of his further inquiries into the origin of language must not 
expect even to obtain a hearing from scholars ** {OrUnM tmd 
Ling. St., Im aa4). 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


forms god^godne^gode^godutft^godes^ godre^ godra^goda^ 
godan^ godena ; Ital. uotno or French"^///w^ corre- 
^sponds to Lat. Itomo, hoMinem, homini^ Iwmine, Where 
the modem language has one or two cases, in an earlier 
stage it had three or four, and still earlier even seven 
or eight. The same thing is seen in the flexion of 
the verb: an extreme, but by no means unique 
example, is the English cut, which can serve both as 
present and past tense, both as singular and plural, 
both in the first, second and third persons, both in 
the infinitive, in the imperative, in the indicative, in 
the subjunctive, and as a past participle; compare 
with this the old languages with their separate forms 
for diflerent tenses and moods, for two or three 
jiumbers, and in each for three persons ; and re- 
member, moreover, that the identical form, without 
any inconvenience being occasioned, is also used as a 
noun (n CHt)^ and you will admire the economy of the 
living tongue. A characteristic feature of the struc- 
ture of languages in their early stages is that each 
form of a word (whether verb or noun) contains in 
I itself several minor modifications which, in the later 

li stages of the language, are expressed separately, eg.% 

\ \ by auxiliary verbs or prepositions. Such a word as 

|i Latin caniavisut unites into one inseparable whole 

f j the equivalentu of six ideas : ( i) "* sing,** (2) pluperfect, 

J (3) that indefinite modification of the verbal idea 

''\' which we term subjunctive, (4) active, (5) third person, 

j and (6) singular. 

X\ 269. These general tendencies of the later stages 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


of language may be properly denoted by the term 
•* anal)rsis ••. If, however, we accepted "synthesis*' 
as the designation of the earliest stage we should^ 
be guilty of inconsistency: for as syntlusis means 
composition, putting together, it presupposes that 
the elements "put together" had at first an inde- 
pendent existence; and this we deny. Therefore, 
whoever does not share the usual opinion that all 
flexional forms have originated through independent 
. words gradually coalescing, but sees that we have 
sometimes to deal with the reverse process of insepar- y 
able parts of words gradually gaining independence 
(§§ 50» 57> ^46 ^)» ^>ll have to look out for a better 
or less ambiguous word than synthesis for the con- 
dition of primitive speech. What in the later stages 
of language is analysed or dissolved, in the earlier 
stages was unanalysable or indissoluble ; " entangled " 
or " complicated " would therefore be better render- 
ings of our impression of the first state of things. 
In Latin hotnini nobody is able to see where the 
designation of "man** ceases, or which element 
signifies the dative case and which the singular 

270* The direction of movement is towards 
flexionless languages (such as Chinese, or to a certain 
extent Modem English) with freely combinable ele- 
ments ; the starting-point was flexional languages 
(such as Latin or Greek) ; at a still earlier stage we 
must suppose a language in which a verbal form 
might indicate not only six things like ca9Umviss€t^ 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


but a still larger number, in which verbs were perhaps 
modified according to the gender (or- sex) of the 

_ subject, as they are in Semitic languages, or accord- 
ing to the object, as they are in some American Indian 
lang^uages. But that amounts to the same thing as 
saying that the borderline bet%veen word and sentence 
was not so clearly defined as in more recent times ; 
coHtavissei is really nothing but a sentence-word, and 
the same holds true to a- still greatei* extent of the 
sound -conglomerations of Indian languages. It is, . 
indeed, highly characteristic of the primitive mind, 
and a subject of constant astonishment to those who 
study the languages of savage races, that a thing by 
itself cannot be conceived or spoken of: it is an 

^ utter impossibility for a savage to think of '' knife,** 
for instance, by itself; his power of abstraction 
is not sufficiently developed; but he can perfectly 
well say, " give me that knife," or " he plunged the 
knife into the hart**. It will be noticed that in 
speaking of ''sentence-words** as the original units 
of language I do not use that expression in exactly 
the same sense as certain linguistic writers, who 
exemplify their notion of primitive sentence-words 
by such modem instances as " Fire 1 ** or " Thief I ** 
In my opinion primitive linguistic units must have 
been much more complicated in point of meaning, as 
well as much longer in point of sound. 

27L Another point of great importance is this : 
in early languages we find a far greater number of 
irregularities, exceptions, anomalies, than in modem 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


ones. It is true that we not unfrequently see ne\v 
irregularities spring up, where the formations were 
formerly r^[ular; but these instances are very far 
from counterbalancing the opposite class in which 
words once irregularly inflected become regular, or 
anomalies in syntax, etc., are levelled. The tendency 
is more and more to denote the same thing by the 
same means in every case, to extend the ending, or 
whatever it is,lhat is used in a large class of words 
to express a certain modification of the central idea, 
until it is used in all other words as well. 

Primitive language no doubt had a superabundance 
of irr^^larities and anomalies, in syntax and word- 
formation not less than in accidence. It was cap- 
ricious and fanciful, and displayed a luxuriant growth 
of forms, entangled one with another like the trees 
in a primeval forest. Human minds of those times 
disported themselves in these long and intricate words 
as in the wildest and most wanton play. Primitive 
speech was certainly not, as is often supposed,^ 
distinguished for logical consistency ; nor, so far as 
we can judge, was it simple and facile : it is much 
more likely to have been extremely clumsy and un- 
wieldy. Renan rightly reminds us of Turgot*8 wise 
saying: "Des hommes grossiers ne font rien de 
simple. II faut des hommes perfectionn^ pour y 

>Cf., for instance, H. Sweet, A N4W Engl. Grammar^ % 543, 
'* In primitive languages they [grammatical and logical 
categories] are generally in harmony**. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



272. If we turn to the inner side -of language, 

that is, to the meaning connected with the words, we 

shall find a development parallel to that noticed in 

grammar ; and indeed, if we go deep enough into the 

question, we shall see that it is really the very same 

movement that has taken place here. The more_ 

ad vanced a langM^g e jjgj Jhe more de veloped is its 

po wer of expressing al^stract things, ^ I uscTHis~tcrm 

** abstract " not in the narrow sense of some logicians, 

who make it cover only such words as ** whiteness " 

f f or '' love *' ; but in a wider sense, so as to denote also 

1 the so-called general terms. E verywhere language 

I h as first attained to expressi ons for th e concrete and^ 

special. ^In accounts of barbaric people's languages 

. weincessantly meet with such phrases as these : 

''The aborigines of Tasmania had no words represent- 

'j ing abstract ideas ; for each variety of gum-tree and 

I wattle-tree» etc^ etc., they had a name ; but they had 

no equivalent for the expression * a tree * ; neither 

could they express abstract qualities, such as * hard, 

I soft, warm, cold, long, short, round *^ \ or, '* The 

J Mohicans have words for cutting various objects, hut 

k none to convey cutting simply; and the Society 

^ Islanders can talk of a dog's tail, a sheep's tail, or a 

I man's tail [7], but not of tail itself. The dialect of 

I the Zulus is rich in nouns denoting different objects 

\ of the same genus, according to some variety of 

^! colour, redundancy, or deficiency of members, or 

some other peculiarity, such as 'red cow,' 'white 

Digitized byCjOOQlC 



cow/ 'brown cow/ etc/** Some languages have no 
word for brother^ but only for "elder brother" and 
•• younger brother " ; others can only express *• hand "* 
as being either ** my hand " or " your hand " or " his 
hand,*' and so on. In Cherokee, instead of one word 
for ''washing" we find diAerent words, according to 
what is washed : ku-tuwo^ ^ I wash myself"; ku-Ustula, 
" I wash my head " ; tsestuia^ ** I wash the head of 
somebody else"; ktikuswo, "I wash my face"; 
tse/mswo^ ** I wash the face of somebody else " ; taJka- 
sula, " I wash my hands or feet " ; takunkeia^ " I wash 
my clothes " ; iakutega^ ** I wash dishes " ; tsejuwu^ 
** I wash a child " ; Jkowela, ** I wash meat ". Many 
savage tribes possess specific appellations for a 
number of shades of relationship which we can only 
express by a combination of two or three words, etc, 

In old Germanic poetry we find an astonishing 
abundance of words translated in our dictionaries by 
•'sea," "battle," "sword," "hero," and the like : 
these may certainly be considered as remains of an 
. earlier condition of things, in which each of these 
^words at present only differing in form had its separ* 
ate shade of meaning, which was subsequently lost * 
The nomenclature of a remote past was undoubtedly 

> Sayce, Introd, Sc, Languagi^ u^ 5 ; of. ibid.^ i., lai. 

*In Sanskrit dictionaries, according to Max Miiller, are 
found no lets than 5 words for ** hand,** 11 for "light,** 15 for 
"cloud/* so for "moon/* a6 for "snake,** 33 for "• 
•laughter,** 35 for «* fire,** 37 for " sun **. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


constructed upon similar principles to those which we 
still come across in a word-group like^^ iarset fnare, 
stallion^ foal^ colt^ instead of he-horse, she-horse, 
young horse, etc So far, then, primitive speech had 
a larger vocabulary than later languages. 

278* While our words are better adapted to ex- 
press abstract things and to render concrete things with 
definite precision, they are comparatively colourless. 
T he oli Lwords. on the contrary, spoke more immedi- 
at ely to the senses^ ibey^were-oianifestly more^sug- 
^ tive, mo re^giaphicand pirtarial ; while to express 
one single thing we are not unfrequently obliged to 
piece the image together bit by bit, the old concrete 
words would at once present it to the hearer's mind as 
an indissoluble whole ; thr y w rrr, ii rrn rdin cl y ^ hrtte r 
adapted to poetic purpose t. Nor ij jh'f th^ rnlyj^^ 
in wh iCirwe"see a closeTelationshio between orimit ive 
wor ds and poetry . 

274. If we try mentally to transport ourselves to a 
period in which language consisted of nothing but 
such graphic concrete words, we shall discover that, 
in spite of their number, even if taken all together, they 
would not suffice to cover everything which needed 
expression ; a wealth in such words is not incom- 
patible with a certain poverty. Words will accordingly 
often be required to do service outside of their proper 
sphere of application. That a figurative or metaphori- 
od use of words is a factor of the utmost importance 
in the life of all languages, is a well-known fact ; 
but I am probably right in thinking it played a more 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC 


prominent part in old times than now. In course of 
time a great many metaphors have become stiffened 
and worn out, so that nobody feels them to be meta- 
phors any longer. Examine closely such a sentence 
as this : ** He cam£ to look upon the low eM of morals 
as an o$iUom€ of bad /asti," and you will find that 
nearly every word is a dead metaphor,^ But the 
better stocked a language is with those ex-metaphors 
which have now bea>me r^^lar expressions for de- 
finite ideast the less need is there for going out of 
your way to find new metaphors. The expression j 
of thoug ht tend s therefore to become more and more | 
mechani^Torprosaic. ^^ * I 

^fimitive man, however, on account of the nature 
of his language, was constantly reduced to using 
words and phrases figuratively: he was forced to 
express his thoughts in the language of poetry. The 
speech of modem savages is often spoken of as 
abounding in similes and all kinds of figurative 
phrases and allegorical expressions. Just-aLia.Ihe 

tra^itinnallY Wnnwn Uft-r^^irft p^tfy }^ fnnnH fti 
evg pr country to precede pro se, so^pnetic 1apg"agft_ 
is on the whole older than pr osaic language ^Jyrics 
com e before scien ce, and OehlenschlRger is right 
when he sings :— *" 

'^ '^ Naturlig cr tlig drift ; af alle munde 

Klang digtekvad, f5r prota tales kunde, 

^Of courae, if instead oflook upon and outcome we had taken 
the corresponding terms of Latin root, coHsider and ruuU^ the 
metaphora would have been still more dead to natural lin- 
guistic instinct 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


which might be Engh'shed : — 

That Nature drove ut ; warbling rose- — ^. 
Man*t voice in verse before he spoke in prose.' 


275» If now we try to sum up what has been in- 
ferred about primitive speech, we see that by our 
backward march we arrived at a language whose 
units had a very meagre substance of thought, and 
this as specialised and concrete as possible ; but at 
the same time the phonetic body was ample ; and 
the bigger and longer the words, the thinner the 
thoughts I Much cry and little sense I No period 
has seen less taciturn people than the first framers of 
speech; primitive speakers were not reticent and 
reserved beings, but youthful men babbling merrily 
on, without being so veiy particular about the mean- 
ing of each of their words. They did not narrowly 
weigh every syllable, — ^what were a couple of syllables 
more or less to them ? They chattered away for the 
mere pleasure of chattering, resembling therein many 
a mother of our own times who wilt diatter away to 
baby without measuring her words or looking too 
closely into the meaning of each ; nay, who does not 
care a bit for the consideration that the little deary 
does not understand a single word of her affectionate 
eloquence, and perhaps is not even able to hear it. 
But primitive speech— 4md we return here to. an idea 

> This translation I owe to the courtesy of the young Danish 
poet, the translator of Browning and Aschylos, Niels M5Uer. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


thrown out above — still more resembles the speech 
of little baby himself, before he begins to listen 
properly to the words of grown-up people and to 
frame his own language after the pattern of theirs ; 
the language of our remote forefathers was like that 
ceaseless humming and crooning with which no 
thoughts are as yet connected, which merely amuses 
and delights the little one. As Preyer has it, there 
is a period in the life of a child when his tongue is 
his dearest toy and best plaything.^ Languagel 
originated as play, and the organs of speech were! 
first trained in this singing sport of idle hours. | 
276* Primitive language had no great store of 
ideas, and if we consider it as an instrument for 
expressing thoughts, it was unwieldy and ineflfectual ; 
' but what did that matter ? Thoughts were not the 
first things to press forward and crave for expression ; 
emotions and instincts were both much more primitive 
and far more powerful. Who does not know 
Schiller's often-quoted lines? — 

Einstweilen, bis den bau der welt 
Philosophie zutammenhalt, 
Erhalt sic das getriebe 
Durch hunger und durch liebe. 

Which of the two, hunger or love, was the more 
powerful in producing germs of speech ? To be sure» 
it was not hynger or that which is connected with 
hunger: mere individual self-assertion and the struggle 
for material existence, .This prosaic side of life has 

* Dk Suk d$s Kind$t^ ate aufl., i8a4« p, 348. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


only been capable of calling forth short monosyllabic 
interjections, howls of pain and grunts of satisfaction ; 
but these are isolated and not capable of much further 
development ; they are the most immutable portions 
of language, and remain now on essentially the same 
stand-point as thousands of years ago. 

277* It is quite otherwise with love ; as far as I 
see, linguistic considerations and generalisations point 
towards essentially the same source of language as 
that which Darwin arrived at by other paths: the 
effort to charm the other sex. To the feeling of love, 
which has left traces of its vast influence on countless 
points of the evolution of organic nature, are due not 
only the magnificent colours of birds and flowers: 
it inspired the first songs, and through them gave 
birth to human language as well. 

278* If after spending some time over the deep 
metaphysical speculations of German linguistic philoso- 
phers you turn to men like Madvig or Whitney, you 
are at once agreeably impressed by the sobriety 
of their reasoning and their superior clearness of 
thought; but if you look more closely, you cannot 
help thinking that they imagine our primitive ances- 
tors after their own image as serious and well-mean- 
ing men endowed with a large share of common-sense. 
By their laying such great stress on the communica- 
tion of thought as the end of language and on the 
usefulness to primitive man of being able to speak to 
his fel)ow-creatures about matters of vital importance, 
th^ leave you with the impression that these ** first 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


framers of speech ** were sedate, alderman-like citizens, 
with a prominent sense for the purely business and 
matter-of-iact side of life; indeed, according to Madvig, 
women had no share in the creating of language. 
Speech seems chiefly to have been instituted as a 
vehicle of important communications and judicious 

279. In opposition to this rationalistic view I 
should like, for once in a way, to bring into the field 
the opposite view: the genesis^ f langu^^e is not^ 
soughtmjthe^prosaic, but m the poetic side of life ; 
the source of speech is not gloomy seriousness, but 
mef^^lay~aLhd youthful hilarity : in primitive speech 
I hear the laughing cries of exultation when lads and 
lasses vied with one another to attract the attention 
of the other sex, when everybody sang his merriest 
and danced his bravest to lure a pair of eyes to throw 
admiring glances in his direction. Language was 
b om in the courting days o f manldndi^: the first 
V utterance of speech I fancy to myself like something 
between the nightly love~ lyrics of puss upon the tiles 
and the melodious love songs of the nightingale. 

280* Strong, however, as must have been the 
influence of love, it was not the only feeling which 
tended to call forth primitive songs.^ Any strong 

^ See Mr. Herbert Spencer's criticism of Darwin's view in 
the Pottseript to the Bta^ on ik$ Orif^ of Mnsic^ in the 
library ed of his Bta^s^ vol. iL, 1891, p. 436 ff. As I feel 
utteriy incompetent to decide when two such eminent doctors *^ 

diMgree, I have tried to con'bine their views; perhaps the 



Digitized by CjOQQ IC • 'j 


emotion, and, more particularly^ any pleasurable 
excitement, will result in song. Singing, like any 
other sort of play, is due to an overflow of energy, 
^ which is dischaiiged in ''unusual vivacity of every 
kind, including vocal vivacity ". Out of the full 
heart the mouth sings! Mr. Spencer has a good 
many quotations to the effect that savages will sing 
whenever they are excited : exploits of war or of 
the chase, the deeds of their ancestors, Ihe coming of 
a fat dog, any incident, * from the arrival of a stranger 
^ . to an earthquake," is turned into a song ; and most 
of these songs are composed extempore. *'When 
rowing, the Coast-nq^roes sing either a description 
of some love intrigue or the praise of some woman 
celebrated for her beauty. In Loango the women 
as they till the field make it echo with their rustic 
songs." Park says of the Bambarran : ** They lightened 
their labours by songs, one of which was composed 
extempore, for I was myself the subject of it **. In 
some parts of Africa nothing is done except to the 
sound of music They arc very expert in adapting 
the subjects of these songs to current events. The 

difference between them it not so great as would appear from 

Mr. Spencer's words.- Only I must take exception to Mr. 

•Spencef's expression that song or chant is derived from 

** emotional speech in general,** if it is implied therein that 

speech is older than song. On the contrary, I hold that our 

comparatively monotonous spoken language and .our highly 

Vj developed vocal music are differentiations of primitive utter* 

r [; ances, which had, however, more in them of the latter than of 

U the former. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


Malays amuse all their leisure hours with the re- 
petition of songs, etc. One of Mr. Spencer's quota- 
tions aptly illustrates the way in which primitive 
men, as I fancy, struck up their songs long before 
language was developed for the communication of 
ideas : " In singing, the East African contents himself 
with improvising a few words without sense or rhyme 
and repeats them till they nauseate". 

Nor is this sort of singing on every and any occa- 
sion confined to savages; it is found wherever the 
in-door life of civilisation has not killed out open-air 
hilarity ; formerly in our Western Europe people 
sang much more than they do now. The Swedish 
peasant Jonas Stolt, writing about 1820, says : ** I have 
lived in a time when young people were singing from 
morning till eve. Then they were carolling both out- 
and in-doors,: behind the plough as well as at the 
threshing-floor and at the spinning-wheel. This is all 
over long ago: now-a-days there is silence everywhere; 
if some one were to try and sing in our days as we 
did of old, people would term it bawling.'*^ 

28L The first things that were thus expressed in 
song were, to be sure, neither deep nor wise; how 
could you expect it? Even now the thoughts 
associated with singing are generally neither very 
clear nor very clever; like humming or whistling, 
singing is often nothing more than an almost 
automatic expression of a mood ; '* and what is 

-^ Jonas Stolt't OpUgtulur^ udg. af R. Mejborg, Copenh., 
1890, p. III. 


by Google )' 



not worth saying can be sung**. Besides, it has been 
the case at all times that things transient and trivial 
have been readier to find expression than Socratic 
wisdom. But the frivolous use ground the instru- 
menty and rendered it little by little more serviceable 
to a multiplicity of purposes, so that it became more 
and more fitted to express everything that touched 
human souls. 
282* Men sang out their feelings long before they 
] were able to speak their thoughts. But they did 
{ not originally sing in order to communicate their 
ideas or feelings ; in fact, they had not the slightest 
notion that such a thing was possible. They " sang 
but as the linnet sings ** — this word is truer of primi- 
tive men and women than ever it was of the late poet 
laureate. They little suspected that in singing as 
nature prompted them, they were paving the way for 
a language capable of rendering minute shades of 
thought ; just as they could not suspect that out of 
their coarse pictures of men and animab there should 
one day grow an art enabling men of distant countries 
to speak to each other. As is the art of writing to 
primitive painting, so is the art of speaking to primitive 
singing. And the development of the two vehicles of 
communication of thought present other curious and 
instructive parallels. In primitive picture-writing, 
each sign meant a whole sentence or even more— 
the image of a situation or of an incident/being given 
as a whole—; this developed into an ideographic 
writing of each word by itself; this system was 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


succeeded by syllabic methods, which had in their 
turn to give place to alphabetic writing, in which each 
letter stands for, or is meant to stand for, one sound. 
Just as here the advance is due to a further analysis 
of language, smaller and smaller units of speech 
being progressively represented by single signs, in an 
exactly similar way, though not quite so unmistak* 
ably, the history of language shows us a progressive - 
tendency towards analysing into smaller and smaller 
units that which in the earlier stages was taken as 
an inseparable whole. 

283. While an onomatopoetic or echo-word like 
boW'tvaw and an interjection Wke pooh-pooh were at once 
employed and understood as signs for the correspond- 
ing idea, this was not the case with the great bulk 
of language. Just as we have seen above with regard 
to many details of grammatical structure^ that by 
indirect and round-about ways they acquired other 
meanings than they had had originally, or acquired 
meanings where they had originally had none, so it 
was also with language at large. Originally a jingle 
of empty sounds without meaning, it came to be 
an instrument of thought If man is, as Humboldt ' 
has somewhere defined him, ''a singing creature, only 
associating thoughts with the tones," we must answer 
the question : How did this association of sense and 
sound come about? I think we can amiveat forming 

^ Endini^ §§ 37, 60, 63,' French negative /m { 58, tones { 69, 
interrogative particles §§ 73, 74, word-order § 8^, vowel*changet 

Digitized by LjOOQiC " 




some idea of that process by remembering what has 
been said above on the signification of primitive words. 
This we must imagine to have been concrete and 
special in the highest degree. There are, however, 
no words whose signification is so concrete and 
special as proper names, — not such proper names as 
our modem /oAm or /ones or Smithy which have be- 
come so common as to be scarcely proper names any 
longer ; but proper names of the good x>ld kind, borne 
by and denoting only one single individual* How 
easily might not such names spring up in a primitive 
state such as that described above I In the songs of 
a particular individual there would be a constant re- 
currence of a particular series of sounds sung with 
a particular cadence ; no one can doubt the possibility 
of such individual habits being contracted in olden as 
well as in present times. Suppose, then, that ** In the 
spring time, the only pretty ring time," a lover was 
in the habit of addressing his lass " With a hey and 
a ho, and a hey nonino I *' his comrades and rivals 
would not fail to remark this, and would occasionally 
banter him by imitating and repeating his " hey-and- 
a-ho-and-a-hey-nonino "• But when once this had 
been recognised as what Wagner would term a per- 
son's ** leitmotiv,'* it would be no far cry from mimick- 
ing it to using the ** hey-and-a-ho-and-a-hey-nonino '* 
as a sort of nick-name for the man concerned; it 
might be employed, for instance, to signal his arrival. 
But when once proper names were giveii, common 
names (or nouns) would not be slow in following; • 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


we see the transition from one to the other class con- 
stantly going on, names originally used exclusively 
to denote an individual being used metaphorically to 
connote that individual's most characteristic peculiari- 
ties, as when we say of one man that he is '* a Croesus " 
or "a Vanderbilt/' and of another that he is •• no 
Bismarck '\ We may also remind the reader of the 
German schoolboy who stated in his history lesson 
that Hannibal swore he would always be a Frenchman 
to the Romans.^ This is, at least, one of the ways 
by which language arrives at designations for such 
ideas as " rich/* " statesman/' and " enemy ". Names 
of tools are in some cases proper names, used ori- 
ginally as some term of endearment, as when in 
thieves' slang a crowbar or lever is called a betty or 
jemmy ; English derrick^ as well as the German and 
Scandinavian word for a picklock (German, dietrich ; 
Dan., dirk ; Swed., dyrk)^ is nothing but the proper 
name Dietrich {Derrick^ Theodoricus) ; compare also 
the history of the words bluchers^jack (boot-jack, jack 
for turning a spit, a pike, etc, also jacket)^ pantaloon^ 
hansom^ to burke, to name only a few examples. 

284* Again, we saw above that the further back ^ 
we went, the more the sentence was one indissoluble 
whole, in which those elements which we are accus- 
tomed to think of as single words were not yet 
separated. But it is just sentences of this sort whose 
genesis we can ima^^ine with greatest ease on the !' 

supposition of a primitive period of meaningless |, 

Folic, Wu iUnkt das Volk, 18S9, p. 43. 


vuuwCocM e- 




singing. If a certain number of people have to- 
gether witnessed some incident and have accom- 
panied it with some sort of impromptu song or 
refrain, the two ideas are associated, and later on the 
song will tend to call forth in the memory of those 
who were present the idea of the whole situation. 
Suppose some dreaded enemy has been defeated and 
slain ; the troop will dance round the dead body and 
strike up a chant of triumph, say -something like 
•* Tarara-boom-de-ay I " This combination of sounds, 
sung to a ceitain melody, will now easily become 
what might be called a proper name for that parti- 
cular event ; it might be roughly translated, " The 
terrible foe from beyond the river is slain," or " We 
have killed the dreadful man from beyond the river," 
or "Do you remember when we killed him?" or 
something of the same sort. Under slightly altered 
circumstances it may become the proper name of the 
man who slew the enemy. The development can 
now proceed further by a metaphorical transference 
of the expression to similar situations ("There is 
another man of the same tribe : let us slay him as we 
did the other ! ") ; or by a blending of two or more 
of these proper-name melodies. I can give nothing 
but hints ; but does not the reader begin now dimly 
to see ways by which primitive " lieder ohne worte " 
may have become, first, indissoluble sentences, and 
then gradually combinations of words more and more 
capable of being analysed? And does not this 
theory explain better than most others the great part 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 


which chance and fortuitous coincidence alwa)rs seem 
to play in languages ? 
285* Language, then, heg^n with half-musical 

y unanalysed expressions for individual beings and 
events. Langus^es composed of such words and 
sentences are clumsy and insufficient instruments of 
thought, being intricate, capricious and difficult 
But from the beginning the tendency has been one of 
progress, slow and fitful progress, but still prc^^ress 
towards greater and greater clearness, regularity, 
ease and pliancy. No one language has arrived at 
perfection ; an ideal language would always express 
the same thing by the same, and similar things by 
similar means ; any irr^^larity and ambiguity would 
be banished; sound and sense would be in perfect 

. harmony ; any number of delicate shades of meaning 
could be expressed with equal ease: poetry and 
prose, beauty and truth, thinking and feeling would 
be equally provided for: the human spirit would 
have found a garment combining freedom and grace- 
fulness, fitting it closely and ytt allowing full play to 

' any movement 

But however far our present languages are from 
that ideal, we must be thankful for what has been 
achieved ; seeing that — 

Language it a perpetual orphic song, 
Which rules with Dmlal harmony a throng 
Of thoughts and forms, which else tentelett and shapeless 




by Google 


The references are to the numbers of the paragraphs. 

•• of the fem., 53, 53* 60, 61 ; 

of the pL neater, ^ 
ablaut, 58, 91. 
absolute construction, 165, 183 ; 

absolute pronouns, 57, an. 
abstract forms and words, 23 

ft, 270, 373 ff. 
accent, 46, 69. ' 
accidence and sjmtax, loi, 

103, 106. 
accusative, ch. viL ; acc« with 

infinitive, 155. 
adder^ 108. 

adverbial connexions, 333 £ 
after-correction, 163. 
agglutinating languages, 4, 88. 
a^lutination theory, 54 £ 
«/, 179. 
«/5ifi/, 45. 

Alford, 36 note, 38, 194. 
mil our^ 335 ff. 
amalgamation, 94. 
American languages, 9a 
anacoluthia, 163 ff. 
analogy, 144 £ 
analysis, 33, 93, 369. 
mnaUmy^ 5a 
anomaly, SM irregularity. 


apposition, 163, 33i. 
Anan languages, 3, etc 
arrangement of grammar, 103 £ 
article, in Bantu, 50 ; in Scan- 
dinavian, 54. 
«s, i6a 

attraction, relative, 154, i6a. 
attributive words, 319 £ 
auxiliaries^ 83. 

back-formations, 50. 

Bantu languages, 34 ff. 

Basque, 88, 89. 

hUUr^ had h$tUr^ 180^ 313. 

beiwunyau mnd /, 193. 

Bleelc, 34 ff. 

blendings, 65, 155 ff., 177, 

304. ^ 
Bon$y, 47. 
Bopp, 4 note, 7, 63. 
hoik our^ 335 ff. 

bow-wow theory, 357, 359, 383. 
Br^l, 87. 
Brincker, 38. 

Brugmann, 55, 60, 61, 104. 
bui, 158. 

cantaveram, 33, 63, 368. 
case-s)rstems, ch. vi. ; 

shiftings, ch. vii. 

children's language, 361, 375. 
Chinese, 4, 5, 66-73. 
dicks, 363. 
coalescence of cases, 81, 135, 

concord, 37-33, in Bantu, 34 ff. ; 
in English, 319 ff» 347. 

concrete words and forms, 33 ff* 

conjoint pronouns, 31 1. 

conjunctions and prepositions, 
158 ff. ; gen. oi^ words con- 
nected by conjunctions, 334 £ 

contaminations. Mi blendings. 

contractions, 47. 

coMlfo^, 367. 

COM for cks ^os«, 367* 

curtailings of words, 47, 367. 
I 'cwli, so. 


Digitized byVjOOQlC 



'd in lovid^ etc.* 59. 
dammd he kim^ 187. 
Danish, a^, 30, 31, 151, etc ; 
Danish influence on Bnglith, 

dative, for ace. m pronouna, 

Darwin, 359, 377. 
declensions. Old English, 109 ff. 
dur^ durs, 13a 
dialectal pronouns, aia. 
ding-dong theory, 357, 258. 

^. 73. 94- 
Dodge, 84. 
, dual, laS. 

dualism, loi, loa. 

Bdkins, 67-69. 

Einenkel, 143, 35a 

elision, 199-301. 

Ellis, 87, 184, 35a 

4m*<, 333. 

'§m^ 151. 

empty words, 66. 

-M in oxin^ eta, 57. 

England for EngUUnndt 173, 

English, I, 3, 13, etc 
-w in tinder^ etc, 57. 
#«<^ ^Md, 74. 
estimation of languages, 7 ff. ; 

the correct test, 11. 

•*C€pt, 159. 

exertion in learning and in 
speaking a language, 30, 31 • 

' farewell to you^ 187 ; fare thee 
feminine gender, 53, 53, 60, 6i. 
femur^ 65. 
Finnic, 9a 
flexion, flexional languages, su 

esfiecially 4, 91, 93. 
for with the infinitive, i66. 

foru, 313. 

fortUan^ 45. 

French, 74, 89; French influ- 
ence on English, 138 E 

fiill words, 66. 

future in Romance languages, 

GabelenU, 55, 66 ff. 

gender, 34, 60, 61. 

general and special forms, 33 

ff., 368 £ 
genitive, ch. viii. ; history of 

English genitive in general, 

341 ff. ; genitive with iUc, 

etc, 348 fl. 
German, 19, 80-83, etc, 151. 
Gothic, 8, 16, 17. 

S*adation, 58, 91. 
rimm, 4 note, 13, i^ 
group genitive, ch. viiL 
Gummere, 197, 308. 

kabaidideinta^ 8, 16, 17, 33. 
hadt 8, 16, 17, 33; had and 

would, 180. 
hail, 187. 
haplology, 367. 
harhy, harh*ee, 198. 
Hart, 199. 
he and the, 34 ; he and him, ch. 

vii.; he^**9L male being," 

x68; he parallel with me, 

193 ff. 
Hegel, 4. 
hem, 151. 
Henry, 69. 
hereyou are, 313. 
hern, 57. 
htne, 151. 

hit used to form genitives, 348 ff. 
hUn, 57. 
history, influence on language, 

5. "»• 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



Hottentot, 19, 6i. 

AtMior, 65. 

Humboldt, W. von, 4^11. 

/, ch. vii. ; esp. 168, 192. 

i from V and #, 173. 

Uyou flkif ifyouplm$t aij. 

imperative with ihu and you^ 
188 f. 

impersonal verbs, 173 E, 193. 

incorporating languages, 88, 

indirect ways of obtaining lin- 
guistic expressions, 57, 58, 
60, 6a, 69, 73, 74, 85, 91, a83. 

indissoluble expressions of 
several ideas, 2a, ^, a68 E 

infinitive constructions, 155, 

integration, 45. 

interpositional f , a44 if. 

interrogative sentences, 7a-74. 

inversion of word-order, 73, 84* 

irregularities, 18 ffl, 95, a7i. 

isolating languages, 4^ 66-73. 

Italian pronouns, 151. 

ii is^ case after, 184 f^ 194. 

januuSf 58. 
jicuff 65. 
Johannson, 80-83. 

Kellner, 153, 164. 

kernel, 108; changes in Old 

English kernels, laa, 149* 
Klingnardt, 3x7 1 
Kriiuter, 14. 
Kuhn, 7a 

Larramendi, 88. 

Latin, 5, 19,* 30 {sm especially 

the footnote), etc, 8i. 

Ui us, 156. 

UtL luver, 180. 

Uki, prep, and conjunction, 
160 ; verb, 174 ff. 

linguistics as a natural science^ 
lOt lOI. 

list, 174 tL 

literature, influence on lan- 
guage, 5, loa, 140. 

Livingstone, 36. 

hrdf 367. 

Lyngby, 87.. 

maaske, 45. 

Madvig, la, a7, 5a, 378. 

Magyar, 34, 31, 90. 

magCf maka^ make^ 33. 

March, 6a. 

may-be, 45. 

mcj ch. vii. ; =s *' the ego," x68 ; 

m exclamations, 169; U is 

me, 194. 
metaphors, a7^ £ 
mete (to dream), 174 E 
mine, 57. 
M5ller, Herman, ao^ ax, 55, 9a, 

94* 95» ISO, aoa. 
moHy 74. 

monism, xox. loa. 
Moon, Washington, x6x, x88, 

X9a. ^ 
morphology, su accidence. 
Miiller, Pnedrich, a, X9, 34. 
Miiller, Max, 3, 4 note, 98^ 257, 

Murray, X44, X58. 
mutation, 9X. 

•M in mi$t$, hisu, etc, 37 ; in 
Old English declensions, 
X48, X49- 

Nap, 47. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



negationtf 3a» 5& 

NsuvUkf 267. 

Noir^, 257. 

nouns and verba, a, 65 ; influ- 
ence from nouna on pro- 
nouna, 167 ff. 

number, 24, 25* a6, 150^ 131. 

9>fMf»>, 267, 

Origin of L4uiguage9 ch. ix. 
Oathoff; 14. 
a;r, o«^ii, 57. 

parentheaiaing, 30 ff. 
Paris, Gaston, 6 note, 74. 
participle, absolute, x^ 183. 

pasaive. Scandinavian, 54 ; 

English, i8x t 
P^f^f 33* 
Paul, 55, 158. 
Pedersen, 65. 
pet namea, 47. 
PiutMf, 45. 
philology and linguiatica, 10^ 


pUau^ 174 ff. 

plural, tu number; neuter in 
-a, 6a. 

poetic language, 373 ff. 

polysynthesis, 88-90, 92-94. 

poohfooh theory, 357, 259^ 283. 

position, M# word-order. 

rott, 4 note, 87. 

prepositions and conjunctiona, 
158 ; prepositional con- 
nexiona, 230 fL 

pronouns, 24, 25, 48 ; poMea- 
. sive pronouns, 57 ; French 
pronouns, 89; fin^Ush pro- 
nouns, su espeaally ch. 
viL; genitive of pronouna, 
223-229, 232, 238. 

proper namea, 283. 

Quakers, 208. 
questions, 72-74. 

-r in Latin passive voice, 59i 

Rask, 12, 63, 128. 

nUher^ had, would rather, x8o. 

IW»», 173. 

reflejcive pronouns, 188 B. 

relative clauses, 29; attraction, 

ip^ 162; gen. of relative 

clauses, 239, 249. 

nW, nnder^ 57. 
roots, 4, 87, 267. 
fouUr^ etc., 87. 

•s in Latin and Romance, 76 ; 

-s in English, 131 ; not mia 

the French, 141 ; -< kept in 

English, 149. 
Mil/, MM, 159. 
Sayce, 14 note, 59^ 88, 97, 99* 

scfutf, 87. 
Schlei^el, 4 note. 
Schleicher, 3-1 1, 31, 67,86-89^ 

101-2, 104. 
Schmidt, 62. 
Schreuder, 34 note. 
setm^ 179. 
«#//, 190 £ 

sentence- words, 270, 284* 
sexual selection, 278 t 
thatU^ skadoWf 149. 
shaWs, 186. 
sham subject, 73. 
shs, ch. vii.; « female,*' z68. 
skupf shupSf 13a 
ahortening of forma, 16, 47, 92 

note, 267. 
SieverSf 108 ff. 
simplicity in linguiatic atmc- 

ture, Wf 271. 

Digitized byVjOOQlC 



iimpfyf 267. 

Skeat, 351. 

long and tpeechy 264 ffi 


sound-laws, 43 note» 47 notSi 

144 ft 
sounds in primitive language, 

special and general forms, la 

ft, 268 E 
spelling, 139. 
Spencer, 365 f^ 38a 
9i«ff% stoM, 133. 
stem, change of stem, 65 ; stem 

and kernel, 108^ 109. 
iiipeftdium^ 367. 
Stoffel, 156, 166, x8a 
Storm, 69, 153. 

subject, unconnected, 164* 
subtraction, 50. 
such M, x6a 
Sweet, 55, 105. 
syllables, number of syllables 

in St. Matthew, 03 note, 
syntax and accidence, loi, 

103, xo6. 
synthesis, 33, 93-4, 369. 

Tegntfr, 14, 33, 53, 93 note. 

ihmn^ 160, z6i. 

ikiim^ 37. 

M#iv, 73* 

ik^f m hi or tk$f 34; Mms^i 

M#Mh ch. viL, esp. { 3X3. 
ihink^ m$Mnkif 173, 174. 
Thomsen, 31, 9a 

IAm, Mts^ 64, ch. vii., esp. § 
188 ff., 193*308; H^Mi^ 
ihou'rt^ $ho»% 300 f.; pro- 
nunciition of tkoUf 303 1 



U> instead of an infinitive, 40. 
tones in Chinese and Scandi 

navian, 69 ^ in primitive lan« 

guage, 364 E 
Torp, 53. 
Torrend, 34. 
tuli^ 267. 

Uganda, 35 note. 

Vn, 151. 

M, ch. vii., esp. { 186. 

verbal forms, 17, 37, 38. 
verbs and^nouns, 3, 65. . 
vocabulary, primitive, 373 if. 
vocalic endings in Old English, 

113} 148. 
vocative, 138. 
Voges, i88. 

WaiU, 97-98. 

waUr, 63. 

Whitney, 3i 55» ^5^ «^» «- ^• 

whOf wAom, 35, 131. x6x, (71, 

173, 178 ; gen. of who $iUt 333 ; 

of whomr^ 333. 


lVorc4sUrt 367. 

word-order, 66-83, ^i ^9 ^34 

ff.; influence on the cases, 

would and hMd^ i8o. 
would to Oodt X87. 
writing, development o( 383. 

y$f yout 64, ch. vii., especially 
f 133, x88 E, X07-308; 
y'ufs, you^r$t you% 300, 
30I ; pronunciation of you^ 


youm^ 37. 

Z$uxi$^ 47. 
Zulu, Mi Bantu. 



Digitized by LjOOQIC 



i i 

Digitized byClfOOQlC 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 



Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC